By Kyle Ferraro
Youngstown State University is offering an “Intro to Archery” event. If interest is high, this event will be annual. It will be taught on an introductory level, focusing on safety and the basics of the sport.
The program is funded through the Outdoor Education Step Outside Grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The grant contributes $500 for equipment, all of which will be provided since the program is introductory.
The coordinator of Competitive Sports and Summer Camps, Domonique Sak, applied for the grant to help underwrite the event and will be its supervisor. Sak is certified as a level one instructor.
“The first part you’re going to learn about the range. That is a huge safety thing,” Sak said. “You have to learn about the range, how far apart distances are, like the shooting line, the waiting line and the target line.”
This program will last three hours, with the majority of it focusing on safety training for the sport. Safety training in a sport that contains a weapon is more important than most other aspects, according to Sak.
“While archery is really fun, it can also be a really high-risk sport,” Sak said.
Dustin Millikin, who has been bowhunting for many years, said it’s important to be aware of weather conditions while shooting.
“No one really realizes how much the wind can affect you when you’re shooting a bow,” Millikin said. “The wind can get a hold of the arrow and it can make you miss your target.”
Sak also said it’s critical to monitor the weather while shooting.
“If the weather conditions aren’t ideal, then it is really difficult to have the program and run it safely,” Sak said.
To maintain a safe range operation, this program is limited to eight participants on a first-come, first-served basis. The equipment being provided includes bows, arrows, arm guards and quivers.
Recurve bows will be provided. They have limbs that curve away from the archer when unstrung, allowing them to shoot arrows faster.
Sak hopes this event will inspire a student to develop an archery club, as there has been expressed interest.
John O’Neill, a senior information technology major, has some archery experience and looks forward to attending this program.
“I am enamored with archery because of my personal interests,” O’Neill said. “For years, I have been a fan of superheroes like the Green Arrow and Hawkeye. Being able to see how good my aim could be is always a fun experience.”
O’Neill is a self-taught archer who’s been shooting since 2017 and brings a unique background to the sport.
“My favorite type of archery is target archery,” O’Neill said. “As a kid, I used to throw darts on my dartboard in the basement, and target archery reminds me of doing that.”
The event will take place from 2-5 p.m. March 29 at Harrison Field across from the MVR Restaurant.
Those interested must register prior to the event on the Campus Rec store website or visit the Campus Rec Administrative Office. The costs are $10 for students, $20 for faculty and $25 for the general public.