Interest in archery soaring
Posted at: 07/16/2012 4:35 PM
| Updated at: 07/16/2012 6:16 PM
By: Robin De Wind | WHEC.com
The London Olympics begin on News10NBC in less than two weeks. Swimming, gymnastics and basketball are a few of the favorite sports fans enjoy watching. But there is another Olympic sport that is also growing in popularity.
There’s been an uptick in interest in archery with the animated movie, “Brave” and the blockbuster book and movie, “The Hunger Games.” Many kids want to give the ancient sport a try.
Movie heroines sporting bows and arrows have cast a new light on a sport that has been around longer than most.
Doug Ludwig, Points to the Cross Archery Club, said, “We were very fortunate this year with the movies that are out fiving us additional exposure.”
“Brave” and “The Hunger Games” prove archery is no longer just a sport relegated to a week in junior high gym class or a day at summer camp.
Doug Ludwig owns and coaches at Points to the Cross Archery Club, a junior Olympic archery development program. He says at this year’s national championship, 400 kids competed.
Ludwig said, “As national coaches, we watch and see how many young people especially our cadet division. The lower teen years, we had 187 kids. There are a lot of kids shooting which bodies well for our national system.”
Fourteen year old Kyle Gleichauf says archery is a different kind of cool sport.
Gleichauf said, “They say it's not a real sport, but it is it's an Olympic sport not like baseball or football like they do.”
Gleichauf has been shooting since he was six, unlike Steve DeTamble, who picked up his first bow and arrow four years ago as an alternative to golf.
DeTamble said, “It’s one of those sports where you challenge yourself a little bit every time you go. There’s always room for improvement.”
The sport requires mental toughness, resiliency and practice, rather than just body type and hand and eye coordination. The United States Men’s Archery team is ranked number one in the world and the top male archer in the world is also an American.
A goal young Gleichauf says he’s on target for.
Gleichauf said, “It makes me feel good that my sport is looked on every four years for judgment. It makes me feel good that people like me are shooting regularly. I want to be in the Olympics, that’s my goal. When I was six, I said I want to be in the Olympics and I’ve been working hard to get there.”
The U.S. Men’s team is ranked number one in the world. The women’s team is ranked number seven. The U.S.’s last medals in archery were at the 2000 Olympic Games. The teams left Monday for London and will begin competing next Friday when the Olympic Games open.
For more information on Points to the Cross Archery, click here.