Intramural Archery targets unique interest

Olga Archakov, Editor-at-Large

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Juniors Ben Gordon (left) and Brandon Ng pull back their compound bows in Ng’s backyard. Gordon and Ng started Intramural Archery at school, and the two often practice together.
Photo by Richard Chu

The origins of the idea to bring archery to Glenbrook North lie in a restaurant in Puerto Rico. The idea for the intramural came from a conversation between junior Brandon Ng and his sister. Ng had been imitating Oliver Queen, a character on the TV show “Arrow,” when the idea was born.

“My sister … told me I didn’t know anything about archery, so I claimed I could start an archery club,” Ng said.

According to Ng, archery has been approved as an intramural, but equipment and other logistics still need to be figured out. Archery hoped to have its first meeting in which they would be able to shoot on Oct. 24, but it was canceled.

Ng, co-president of Intramural Archery, said one logistical issue they face is certification of bows.

“We can’t use bows until we get certified to clear them for use,” said Ng. “The other [issue] would be if we are shooting with metal or rubber tips. Originally we were planning on shooting metal tips, but we may be forced to use rubber.”

Junior Ben Gordon, who is also the co-president of Intramural Archery, said they would need to be certified to check bows to ensure no safety or liability issues arise.

“The problem [is] … that the district won’t let … other people use my equipment until we get certified to evaluate a bow, otherwise I could be liable in case of an accident that happens while someone else is using my equipment,” Gordon said.

Sponsor Maureen McDonaugh said she watched Stevenson’s archery team to learn more about how she should run a meeting safely and effectively. The intramural plans to use a whistle system for safety in which different numbers of whistles would provide different instructions to the participants.

For the intramural to move forward, certification would be required. Safety certification is often offered if a school includes archery in its physical education curriculum. Since archery is not currently taught by GBN, the intramural is figuring out how to get certified without a change in curriculum. The intramural would also be unable to compete against other schools because there is no current plan to incorporate archery into the curriculum, which is required to compete against other schools.

A decision has to be made as to whether the intramural will continue to pursue shooting in the fieldhouse or wait until spring to shoot outside.

Ng said he has been practicing archery for around a year and mostly shoots in his backyard.

“Two weekends ago, Ben [Gordon] and I … were shooting in the backyard together,” said Ng. “I shot an arrow in the target, and then he shot one, and it split the arrow. It was crazy. And then the next day I split an arrow. It’s so hard to split an arrow and it happening two days consecutively, it was amazing.”

The club plans to welcome both beginners and those with archery experience, according to Ng.

Gordon said he recently had been working on securing more equipment to be used, including bow and arrow sets. The intramural is also looking at acquiring a drop curtain.

Ng said he hopes to give students a chance to practice with other people who like archery.

“Our goal is to, I guess, give an environment for people to be able to shoot archery, especially with other people already having that experience,” Ng said.

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