Many of us don’t know much about archery, or at least how to wield a bow and arrow, but that does not apply to everyone at the American University of Beirut. Archery has been a popular sport all over the world throughout history, and very recently, a few students decided to give it a place on campus by creating AUB’s first Archery Varsity Team.
Representing one of the newest sports on campus, AUB’s Archery Varsity Team currently has around thirteen members. Its creation in 2015 only allowed it to be a club in the beginning, but with the growing number of members and training skills, this club eventually turned into a competitive varsity team, according to team captain El Moataz Mohamad El Sayed Ahmad.
“I always wanted to practice archery, especially after missing the opportunity at school,” said Ahmad. “I suggested to open a club at first and give it a one-year trial. We wanted to offer the best services at the best price and in a nearby place.”
The AUB Archery Varsity Team competes against other archery teams from institutions such as the Beirut Arab University or the International College (IC). Lebanon’s National Archery Federation also makes competitions in which they compete. The team is open to compete on a more regional or international level, but this idea is yet to be approved by AUB
After meeting with the Lebanese archery champion Jihad Toukan, who teaches at the International College, the members spoke to the school and asked it to provide them with training grounds. Everything worked well for them, as they got the chance to use Toukan’s equipment and permission to train in IC. After three successful semesters, the members finally submitted their proposal to the Charles Hostler Office in the summer of 2016 and a varsity team for archery was created.
The team’s training sessions involve shooting at short and long-ranged targets using olympic bows. They also involve enhancing concentration as well as strengthening the players’ arms and shoulders while making them more flexible.
“I feel like the Archery Varsity Team shows how archery is one of the most exciting, eminent, distinguished, atypical, and stress relieving sports that was added to AUB,” added Ahmad. “I’m really glad to be part of the team and proud that I was able to create the club and convince the Hostler Office to open a varsity team for us. The ambiance in the team is particularly joyful and Serene and I invite my fellow AUB students to give it a shot.”
This sport focuses on other individual attributes too, such as stability, technique, and stress level – all in a healthy competitive environment that makes it easy for someone to bond with their fellow team members.