Archery’s high profile benefits local club

Popularity of the sport has taken off in recent years.

Gabrielle Smith takes aim at the Nicola Valley Archery Club.

Gabrielle Smith takes aim at the Nicola Valley Archery Club.

Merritt Herald

Thanks to hit movies like The Hunger Games and Brave, and perhaps due to some unprecedented coverage at the 2012 Olympics, the sport of archery is experiencing a real spike in both interest and activity worldwide.

The rise in participation levels is evident locally as well. The Nicola Valley Archery Club has emerged from a period of relative dormancy to become a thriving group, with a current membership of close to 20 adults and youngsters.

The NVAC, which operates under the umbrella of the Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club, is meeting throughout the summer, from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays at the gun range, located 10 km up Aberdeen Rd. in Lower Nicola.

Instruction and supervision is provided by BJ Moore, who has been bow hunting for six years. He said the club is keen to attract new members.

“We have an assortment of bows that individuals can just come and use if they’re new to the sport,” Moore said. “We shoot mostly at what are known as 3-D targets which the club provides.”

Archery is a really family-friendly activity. Barclay Smith regularly attends with his three young daughters — Gabrielle, 12, Ivy, 10, and Julia, 8. Moore’s daughter, Olivia, 10, also shoots, as does Sunshine O’Donnell, 13, and her 17-year-old brother, Dakota.

“It’s one of my favorite sports,” Gabrielle Smith said. “I like trying to hit the target. When I first started, it was tough pulling the string back on my compound bow, but I’ve gotten used to it.”

Most people who get involved in archery are satisfied with target shooting, Moore said. “Many clubs hold 3-D shoots with categories and prizes for all ages. Logan Lake holds a very successful shoot every Father’s Day weekend. This year, there were over 170 people in attendance. It’s our goal to try to host a shoot next spring.”

For more information on the Nicola Valley Archery Club, contact Moore at 280-0304.