Two or three times a week, the Weber State University Archery Club meets with eight regular members to sharpen their skills with a bow and arrow and prepare for the club’s yearly competition.
Club president Kenny Haeffele said the members who come are dedicated to learning something new, but he would love to see the numbers increase.
“We have recreational shooters, people who just come out for fun, as well as shooters that are wanting to compete,” Haeffele said. “It (the club) is geared for any amount of dedication that someone wants to do.”
Haeffele said the club has a place for beginners and award-winning champions alike.
All club participants must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA and 12 credit hours, and pay club dues of $60 per year. Archers who do not have their own equipment can rent a bow, arrows, quiver and stabilizer for $15 a year.
The club will soon allow WSU alumni to join as well, although they will be unable to compete with the club.
“We have one competition we try to go to regular, which is the National Indoor Competition,” Haeffele said. “This year it is in Salt Lake City.”
Haeffele said that in years past, the WSU Archery Club has done quite well at competitions. Aaron Earley, a current member of the Archery Club, said he has won some awards.
“I have been doing archery since I was 6 or 7,” Earley said. “I have competed on my own and done well.”
Earley will not compete this year. He does not qualify because of the 12-credit rule.
Haeffele said he is excited to have the Indoor Competition take place in Utah this year.
“It is a great opportunity to get as many people as we can out and involved,” Haeffele said.
The two-day competition will take place on March 1 and 2. By the end of the competition, competitors will have shot more than 720 arrows.
Haeffele said he has noticed increased interest in archery with the release of such films as “The Avengers,” “The Hunger Games” and “Brave.” Earley has also seen a lot more interest in archery from his friends.
“A lot of my friends are now getting into it,” Earley said. “All my friends that shoot guns are switching to archery.”
Earley said he encourages as many students as he can to come try out archery.
“It’s a stress-reliever and it is something new for people to try,” Earley said.
The Archery Club has a volunteer coach, Mark Sage, who attends many of the practices.
“He is a certified coach,” Haeffele said. “The fact that he volunteers is fantastic.”
Sage is an officer of the Hill Air Force Base Archery Club. Haeffele said Sage has been very involved in archery and even volunteered at the World Cup when it took place in Utah.
“He does a great job of instructing how to shoot and be accurate,” Earley said. “It is definitely a sport you have to practice at.”
Earley had some words of advice for any person new to the sport of archery.
“Have patience — it is really stressful sometimes,” Earley said. “You need to be patient when starting out.”
For an updated schedule of practices and Archery Club events, students can email firstname.lastname@example.org.