Archery club comes to Northwestern after gaining recognition

The Northwestern University Archery Club kicked off Wednesday night, conducting its first information session for prospective members.

The new club describes itself as a co-ed club team dedicated to promoting archery. Joining the club requires no past experience with archery, so students from all skill levels are encouraged to join, said McCormick sophomore Kareem Youssef, a co-founder of the club.

Youssef said the sport has two divisions, recreational and competitive, that align with the different backgrounds of archery. Club members that are new to the sport will be able to hone their skills as part of the recreational component of the club, which will start with basic target practice under the direction of a range master, or archery coach. Meanwhile, the competitive archers will have more one-on-one, personal training.

“We have our hands on a professional coach that is (US Collegiate Archery Association) certified, as well as multiple recreational coaches,” Youssef said.

The club was certified by the NU administration earlier this month after a long process of gaining recognition as an official campus organization. Youssef said it took six months for the club to get recognized at NU, a requirement to obtain a grant from USCA. After unsuccessfully seeking recognition from Associated Student Government, the club turned to the athletic department, where they received official club status, Youssef said.

Meetings will take place at Blomquist Recreation Center on Friday and Saturday evenings. Weinberg sophomore Varsha Venkat, a member of the club, said for recreational members, meetings will be laid-back training sessions. On the other hand, competitive members will be expected to commit more time and effort.

The group has struggled to acquire funding for equipment. Youssef said archery can be expensive but said he did not want that to discourage anyone from joining the club. The club received a grant for equipment from the USCA, which funds archery groups active on college campuses.

“It’s okay for beginners not to have equipment coming in, because we will receive equipment for them to use,” he said. “It’s something that we are currently working on.”

Because of the need to acquire equipment, Youssef expects competitive meetings to begin sooner than recreational, as competitive archers will likely have their own supplies coming in.

“If everything works out accordingly, we can see competitive starting at the mid, end of the quarter, with recreational beginning in the spring,” he said.

Weinberg freshman Sherry Chiu, who attended the info session, said she was already anxious to start the first practice.

“Doing archery has always been a dream of mine,” she said. “Over the winter, I finally got a chance to try it and I loved it.”

At Wednesday’s meeting, Youssef stressed that the club is incredibly easy to join. Another information session is scheduled for Thursday. 

“All you need is interest and motivation,” he said.

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