Though it might not seem like it to the casual sports fan, archery is actually quite popular. In fact, as of 2016, the number of participants aged six years and older in archery amounted to 7.9 million.
According to World Archery, the middle of August marks the first ever World Archery Masters Championships. The tournament will take place from August 14 to August 18 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
There are 365 competitors at this inaugural tournament from all over the world. Some competitors are just looking forward to taking in the experience and having fun and others are hoping to dominate and win it all.
“A lot of people here are more for the fun of it than the competition,” said Kevin Barrett, of Great Britain’s Howard Bowmen. “But people want to compete as well. We’re here to compete, and to have a good time. I’ve never done an international event before, only seen them on TV. I heard about this, told my missus, and went to work. When I got back she said, ‘I’ve booked the hotel.'”
Barrett is returning to the sport he loves after a long hiatus. He was participating in archery a lot back in 2000 but took a 12-year break when his daughter was born.
“Like Vegas, most people are here to compete, but also to meet friends, have a good time, and talk with other people,” added Tom Dielen, World Archery’s secretary general and active archer. “There are not so many serious competitors. But everyone wants to get the best score that they can. I know some very well-known archers who might like to still be competing, but they are afraid not to win. They don’t like the idea of coming in second.”
Though there are 365 competitors in this prestigious archery tournament, the millions of other archers around the world can enjoy the sport at their own pace.
According to WKBW, at the West Falls Conservation Society in Buffalo, New York, archery courses are being offered for the price of a cup of coffee.
Archery classes are being sought to beginners, junior archers, and adults — for just $5. That $5 covers the bow, the arrows, range time, and even instruction from pro archers.
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