Archery Club aims for more members and competitions

Open tryouts planned Feb. 17 in the Student Life Center

Rose Chin/RIT

RIT’s Archery Club has members who compete, as well as others who enjoy the sport recreationally. Potential members for the competition team may try out on Feb. 17.

RIT’s Archery Club is holding tryouts to encourage students to join its competition team.

“We want people to come and get the opportunity to see what competition is like,” said Ashley Jablonski, a third-year cybersecurity major from Chicago, and president of the club. “The majority of people have never competed in their life, or even had the training to score.”

Jablonski first began archery in middle school at a Girl Scout event.

“I picked up a bow and hit a bullseye on the first try,” she said. “It definitely made me feel pretty awesome.” She continued with the sport during middle school, but took a break from it in high school. “When I came to RIT, I learned about the club and joined it.”

Although the club has competed in virtual competitions, she said eight members of the RIT team held their first live competition on Jan. 27, at the Lancaster Archery Easton Youth & Collegiate Tournament in Pennsylvania.

Natalie Wince, a first-year mechanical engineering technology major from Ransom, Pa., took second place and received a medal in the female collegiate compound category. Competitors came from other colleges, some as far away as the west coast. Competitions were divided by age, gender, and bow type: barebow, recurve, and compound.

“Everyone did well for their first competition,” Jablonski said. “Everyone really loved it. There were 700 people competing in the tournament, and everyone had a lot of fun.”

About 200 students signed up to be on the team, with 15 students on the competitive team, and about 50 who regularly participate on the recreational team. Competition members meet every Saturday afternoon, while the recreational members meet every Saturday evening from 8 to 10 p.m. in the Student Life Center, courts 4 and 5.

During their Feb. 17 recreational meeting, the courts will be open for students to try out if they are interested in competing with the team. Equipment will be provided, with a goal to shoot 30 arrows for a total score of 60 or greater to qualify for the team. Up to 10 points are awarded for each score on the target.

Other RIT students can try archery through wellness classes. Although not part of the club, often students end up joining because of their initial exposure from the wellness classes, Jablonski said.

“When we have new people join the club, we have members with them for the entire time to help teach them how to properly shoot arrows safely. The club’s E-Board provides coaching for both new and advanced students as well.”

RIT had a recreational archery club years ago, but it became idle during the pandemic, and wasn’t resurrected until 2021, with new students.

“We’ve all worked really hard to get this team up and running,” Jablonski said. “Getting to see all that work pay off by getting us to these competitions and seeing our team shoot, really, is just incredible. Archery is something that brings all ages, genders, races, and majors together. Everybody can have a shot at archery. It’s a sport for everyone.”

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