College is a time for learning, socializing and – of course – archery. Did you know that 103 schools have archery clubs and a growing number of participants? If you’re headed off to college this fall, consider adding archery to your agenda.
What is collegiate archery?
Participating in archery in college is a fun way to make friends, test your skills and even relieve exam stress. Archers of all skill levels can participate – it doesn’t matter if you shoot competitive barebow or have no idea what barebow archery is.
Collegiate archery bridges the gap between a varsity sport and a club sport. There aren’t many college sports where you can choose to compete at the highest level, participate for fun or do something in between. In fact, collegiate archery is ideal for the beginner because it resolves a lot of barriers to getting into the sport. Archery clubs often provide experienced instructors, access to school equipment and a place to practice. Everything you need to get started in archery is waiting for you at school, which makes college archery ideal for the complete beginner.
Competitive archers can train with their college teammates and travel to tournaments around the country. These events offer a great opportunity to meet archers from other schools (and perhaps future shooting or hunting partners!).
What equipment will I use?
You can shoot many types of bows in collegiate programs, including barebows, Olympic recurves, hunting compounds and target compound bows. If you’re just getting started, you can use a basic bow before choosing the style of archery you most enjoy.
In addition, you can also try several archery formats in collegiate archery, including 3-D, indoor target and outdoor target archery.
How do I join a club?
While some varsity archery programs exist, most programs are student-run clubs. Joining an archery club is easy; one resource is the collegiate archery directory. Contact the club president or coach to learn how to sign-up. You can also check with the student services department of your college campus to see if there’s an archery club. Then you’re on your way to becoming a college athlete.
Both varsity and club programs welcome new members every fall. Previous experience isn’t necessary – just a willingness to learn and be part of a team.
If you’re already passionate about archery but your preferred school doesn’t have a program, start one yourself. You can get tips on starting an archery club on the Collegiate Archery website.
What about scholarships?
Scholarships are one of the great benefits of becoming a collegiate archer. What is better than paying for school while having fun? Several colleges and industry organizations award archery scholarships. Check the Collegiate Archery website for more information and application instructions.
College is an exciting time with abundant opportunities for extracurricular activities. Collegiate archery is a customizable experience that can give you lasting memories and lifelong friendships.