VI to seek USVI’s help in archery development
BY DEAN GREENAWAY (SPECIAL TO THE DAILY NEWS)
Published: March 21, 2015
TORTOLA-With more than 60 persons showing interest in archery so far, Virgin Islands officials are on their way to developing the sport in the territory and will be seeking assistance of the U.S. Virgin Islands, as recommended by the World Archery Americas, the continental body covering the sport.
Patrick Smith, a H. Lavity Stoutt Community College technology department guru, and his University of the West Indies counterpart David Foster have been garnering interest in the sport since last year. World Archery Americas have now put them in touch with USVI Archery Federation President William Coles.
Since last year when the began discussions and having meetings, Smith said things have been going well so far, after they set up a target area at Stoutt College.
“We meet between 1 and 4 p.m. on Saturdays after people have completed their morning chores,” Smith said. “It’s growing slowly but surely and we are getting more and more numbers every Saturday.”
Foster said archery has taken off to the point where they have more participants than equipment and the group needs to raise funds to obtain more equipment.
“We have kids from 5 years old and as long as you have good enough eyesight and can pull back the string, they can come and participate,” he said. “We want to get people to the level where they can eventually compete regionally and internationally.”
Smith explained that as a startup sport, most of the equipment they use is personal equipment.
Foster ordered a few spears for general use, he has his own personal bows and more have been ordered. The Styrofoam for holding the targets have been donated by Tradewinds Shipping.
“The targets are pretty expensive, so we are trying to get the club together now to get funds, so we can get better and proper equipment,” Smith said. “We are working on getting established as a non-profit organization. But, I’m very much encouraged by what I’m seeing. People get an email, they tell a friend and they bring a friend, that’s how it’s spreading so far.”
Bentley Roach, who built the target stands, got his three children involved.
“I asked them if they were interested and they said yes, and came out for the first time today,” he said, although he had never engaged in the sport before.
His daughter, Vedaliah, said she learned about posturing in order to pull the bow properly.
“I also learned how to use my left eye because it’s the dominant one to use to aim,” she said. “I thought I could have hit the bullseye, but when I started, I realized it’s not that easy.”
Roach’s 11 year old daughter, Deborah, a student at Joyce Samuel Primary School who won the Victrix Ludorum during her school’s inter-house sports day last month, said she was trying to hit the bullseye, which was a challenge.