Archery now comes of age in country
Posted Thursday, July 5 2012 at 19:16
Archers have been in existence for eons, even during the Stone Age period. In that era, archery was a highly evolved and efficient tool used in war or for hunting.
Today, it has been phased out by modern artillery like rifles, guns and other firearms and weapons.
That, however, has not hindered the popularity of the bow and arrow, but this time as a sporting tool.
Popularised by movies like the Hunger Games and Snow White and the Huntsmen, more and more people are taking interest and participating in the sport.
At the Strathmore University grounds, the Archery Club members meet for their session on Saturday afternoon.
The instructor is in a buibui, a big contrast to the picture painted by the movies of armour-clad warriors.
Tabassum Anwar, chairperson of the Kenya Archery Association, s hard at work with the new archers. She takes them through the basics of archery before letting them practice by themselves. She is the coach as well as the manager of professional archers in the country.
Her knowledge of archery dates a few years back when she went to an outdoor sports exhibition at the Splash Water World.
“Raul Figueroa was the secretary-general at the time and he convinced me and my daughters to take up the sport,” she says.
Starting off as a supportive mother on the sidelines who would do her knitting or catch up with her reading as her daughters had their practice sessions, she has now taken up an active role.
“An expatriate was leaving town and she sold her equipment to me. That was how I ended up taking an active role,” she says.
Archery has evolved tremendously with time. While maintaining the traditional functionality of the bow, they have now upgraded the simple wooden bow by making multiple modifications to it.
The new age has come with different material like plastic, fibre glass, aluminium, carbon and aluminium carbon which have been incorporated into the design of the bows.
The design advancement is not limited to the materials used, but now the bows come with detachable components that can be stored away in their own packaging. The arrows, too, have been altered to course through the wind more smoothly.
An archer stands with one hand gripping the bow while the other hand is used to pull the string and launch the arrow.