Friday, July 27, 2012

Is archery making a come back?

In the 18th century, archery was one of the few sports open to young English ladies. Archery societies were popular, and many of the young elite women found an outlet for their competitiveness while still appearing feminine and proper.

Winona Ryder as Mae Welland in The Age of Innocence
While many 20th century schools offered archery, its popularity has waned over the years. But with so many really awesome archers in pop culture these days, archery appears to be making a come-back. And many young girls getting involved.
The Hunger Games book trilogy and movie, featuring a futuristic, bow-wielding heroine named Katniss Everdeen, hooked Elizabeth Kinson, 13, on archery. For Mia Smith, 7, it was the archer Merida in the animated movie Brave.
Top: Merida in Brave; Bottom: Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games
Photo source: Fresno Bee
New archery clubs are popping up all over, and established clubs are seeing a dramatic increase in inquiries and new memberships.
Bruce Cull, president of the National Field Archery Assocation, says membership is up about 5% this year, largely driven by younger archers. "Hollywood has had a huge impact on archery," he says. "Young girls see the appeal because they see somebody cool doing it."
And not only are they taking it up as a hobby, but they're competing. Like Christiana-Marie Wilburn, of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Christiana-Marie Wilburn, 17 and fab. Photo source: Las Vegas Sun
Right now Wilburn just hopes to make it to 2012 National Archery in the Schools Program’s Nationals in Louisville, Ky. Though winning the tournament has secured her an invite, she’s actively looking for sponsors since archery is just a club at Las Vegas Academy and not funded like other high school sports around the valley.
Everyone expects this increased interest will only continue to grow during the 2012 Olympics, with the best archers in the world competing in London. The archery competitions began today, with the US women's team already in second place.

Miranda Leek, 19 and awesome. Photo source: USAToday
I don't know about you, but I think it is pretty awesome. Or, as Elizabeth Kinson said, "It's fun, and it makes me feel really powerful."


Post a Comment