While some students may plan their return to “homes on the range” this fall break, other students have more recently stepped on a different range in New Haven — an archery shooting range.
The newly-founded Yale Archery team will provide opportunities for both recreational fun and friendly competition for novice and experienced archers, team organizer Daniel Martinez ’05 said.
Timothy Dwight College Resident Fellow John Hodges — an expert archer who competes in archery competitions across Connecticut, Martinez said — helped guide the team’s development.
Martinez said knowing that Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Columbia University have archery teams encouraged him to organize Yale’s group. Martinez said the team is registered as a club sport but hopes to encourage a “recreational environment.” While some students may compete, others will not, he said.
“I wanted to found a place for people who have shot before to get together to shoot,” Martinez said.
Hodges said he wanted to become involved because he was surprised that even though Yale has a large variety of club sports, archery was not previously included.
“I think people who pick up a bow, whatever age you’re at, get addicted to it,” Hodges said. “There’s every other club sport in the book, but not archery.”
Hodges said the team has approval to shoot at one off-campus outdoor range and indoors at the polo ring. Martinez said the team hopes to locate shooting space on Central Campus. Locations such as the Payne Whitney Gymnasium, residential college multipurpose rooms and squash courts are possible range spaces.
Martinez said he hopes to contact alumni with an interest in archery to raise money for more equipment.
Hodges said he thinks his connections with the local archery community can help him support the team’s growth.
“I know undergraduates are so busy with everything they have, and I’m trying to provide the management support. I’m trying to find younger undergraduates who will take leadership roles so the club can flourish,” Hodges said.
The group held an informational meeting last week, which Martinez said 10 students attended. He said many of them were curious about archery as a hobby.
“People came [to the meeting] who had shot once at summer camp, or used to shoot at home,” Martinez said. “There is interest from people with totally different levels of experience.”
Mike Wales ’06, who attended the team’s informational meeting last week, said he got the impression the group would be “very laid-back.”
“It’s just for fun, but with the option to get good at archery,” Wales said.
Wales said he is familiar with archery because he worked at a camp for handicapped children where the children were taught archery.
Hodges said the group may ask interested novice students to take a lesson off-campus and from local instructors for safety reasons.
Martinez said there are three types of bows for shooting: long, recurve and compound. Martinez said the team uses only recurve and compound bows, which have complex cables.
“The long bow is the type seen in an historical picture of a Native American,” Martinez said. “A recurve bow is similar but is for instinctive shooting. It’s like throwing a baseball. You know what you want to hit and learn the way to throw so that you hit your object.”
Martinez said group members interested in competition will compete in December for the first time. He said his ultimate goal is to institute archery as an intramural sport at Yale.