By: KATELYN FIRESTEIN
For many, shooting at targets may not be at the forefront of students’ minds during Valentine’s day. For Archery Club at IU South Bend, however, this is exactly how the members celebrated the holiday.
Archery Club is an inclusive and diverse organization led by freshman Hannah Drudge. On Feb. 15, club members decided to celebrate the holiday by shooting arrows at heart-shaped targets.
“We always do a holiday shoot. We did a Halloween shoot and a Christmas shoot so we try to incorporate the holidays with the events. It is just something fun that brings people in to shoot,” explained President Hannah Drudge.
Archery Club meets every Tuesday and Friday from 6-8 p.m. at Michiana Archer, and meets once a month for on-campus meetings. Additionally, they occasionally have special events such as the holiday shoots and potlucks.
“The purpose for this club is to encourage IUSB students to step out of their comfort zone and experience a sport that can easily reduce stress and strengthen self-esteem along with building close supportive relationships with fellow club members,” explained Drudge.
New members are always encouraged, and the club prioritizes team bonding and making archery an exciting learning experience rather than a strict competition. Though membership costs $20 for the year, club members allow any IU South Bend student who is remotely interested to come to shoots and meetings to give it a try at no cost.
“You don’t have to join the club right away. If you want to contact any one of us you can come and try it out, even two or three times. You don’t have to sign up right away, that’s not what we want. We don’t want you to do it if it’s not for you, but we want to give everyone the opportunity to try it out,” proposes club member Corey Vermillion.
Equipment and experience are not required to join or attend a shoot. The equipment is borrowed for shoots from Michiana Archery. Additionally, club members can go to Michiana Archery at any time to practice and get help from the coaches who work there at no additional cost.
Club members were eager to explain their reasoning for being part of Archery Club.
“My favorite thing about archery is that when you are shooting, you’re focused and relaxed. It’s just you and your bow and you aren’t thinking about anything else,” explained Vermillion. Archery Club is also working on adding Zoom meetings as an option to make the club more accessible and flexible with members’ busy schedules. Zoom, a video conference program, is employed by IU South Bend professors and tutors to meet with students when they cannot be campus.
A goal of the club is to get enough members to potentially offer scholarships to students involved. Archery Club members explained that other universities recognize archery as a sport and often offer athletic scholarships for participants.
However, they still do not want to become too competitive in fear of losing the openness and welcoming environment they currently have.
“A lot of collegiate level archery clubs are competitive and that is not what we are. We have several members who have never picked up a bow before they came here. We take it seriously, but we also want to make sure everyone has fun,” reaffirmed Vermillion.
The Archery Club is planning on continuing with themed shoots and even has plans to compete with Notre Dame Archery soon.
For students who are interested in learning more about or joining Archery Club, email President Hannah Drudge at firstname.lastname@example.org.