Shooting for success
The Olympic Archery Club has attracted a diverse following among locals and expats of all ages. Ñoaøn Baûo Chaâu reports.
HCM City’s Olympic Archery Club has attracted a diverse following, from young children intrigued by archery’s novelty to older adults seeking moments of mental clarity.
It is 10am on a summer day and 10 people are standing in line, waiting for the signal to shoot at the Olympic Archery Club in HCM City's Youth Cultural House.
The downtown archery club had originally been started in a small room on the third floor of the Cultural House. It has now moved outdoors, and offers a chance to more people to experience the feeling of being ' Robin Hoods' in the city.
For VNÑ50,000 ( US$ 2.38), players can hire bows and arrows and practice archery for 30 minutes. There are three kinds of bows available for hire at the club, including recurve, compound and longbow, ranked in order of difficulty.
Although archery is a new sport in town, the club is attracting increasing numbers of people of different age groups.
Traàn Nhaõ An, 14, and her sister Traàn Anh Thö, 10, are among the youngest at the club. On their first day there, the sisters started shooting after just 15 minutes of coaching.
"My friends had tried archery and told me. I got excited and asked my mother to bring me here," Thö said.
Hoaøng My, 14, comes to the club with her 10- yearold sister and 84- year- old grandfather. Even though it takes them two hours by bus, they visit the club every afternoon.
"I have nothing to do at home, so I feel happier travelling around and practicing archery with my grandchildren. Thanks to the sport, I know my arms are still strong," My's grandfather said with a smile.
Office workers are also fascinated by the sport. Nguyeãn Minh Trung, an employee of the Saøi Goøn Beer Company, said he has been practising archery for almost a year to relax after work.
"The most interesting part of archery, I think, is that it helps me to be patient and calm. I will not be able to shoot if I don't keep my head. For that reason, I always feel relaxed after playing this sport," he added.
According to coaches and players, archery is not very difficult but the game requires the archer to be patient, practice regularly and focus his mind on what he is doing.
Even the expats in the city are getting interested in the sport. After four months of practice, Amdreas from Sweden and his wife have become good archers.
"I don't know why more foreigners have not come here yet. If they know about this, they will be attracted like me. It's quite easy," Andreas said proudly, while showing photos on his mobile of the 10 bullseye hits that he has scored.
Besides the general archery sessions for everyone, the club has launched free training classes for children. According to coach Hoaøng Thaân, the club pays great attention to children's safety since the arrows are shot at very high speed.
Moreover, the Olympic Archery Club has also organised field trips for learners to practice outdoors.
Ñoaøn Thò Leä, the manager of the club, said that in the near future, they will organise more field trips to give the players interesting experiences as well as open more training classes since the number of learners is expected to increase.
Age range: Archery attracts people from different age groups.
Sharp shooter: A boy shows happiness at his archery results. Photos saigonfunclub.com