Shoot­ing for suc­cess

The Olympic Archery Club has at­tracted a di­verse fol­low­ing among lo­cals and ex­pats of all ages. Ñoaøn Baûo Chaâu re­ports.

Viet Nam News - - Front Page - VNS

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.

Tran­scends age

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 saigon­fun­

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