A perfect bull’s eye for Waterloo at Inter-University Archery Tournament

The University of Waterloo&rsquo;s archery club finished first overall in the team category at the Inter-University Archery Tournament (UIAT) held March 19, 2016. The club achieved&nbsp; a team compound score of 3,058 from six shooters: three from the compound and recurve category and three from the barebow and novice category. This is the fourth year in a row that Waterloo has taken home the team gold.&nbsp;</p>

The competition featured categories for different bow types, including recurve and compound, as well as different experience levels.

UW’s Vivian Nguyen took third place in women’s recurve with a score of 504. For the men, Emilio Verdugo Parades and Thomas Lawrence took fifth and sixth in men’s recurve with tying scores of 529 that were broken by the amount of X’s and 10’s scored. Club co-president and mechanical engineering master’s student, Horatio He, grabbed seventh with a final score of 515. 

In the men’s novice category, for shooters with less than a year of experience, UW’s Jerry Zhang took first place with a score of 504. 

As for the men’s barebow category, for shooters shooting without the use of a bow stabilizer or mechanical sight which helps aim, Botan Khani took first place with a score of 530 followed by fellow Warrior Sultaan Shah in third place, scoring 451. 

Waterloo was one of the founding members of the competition, which began five years ago.

“Before, there wasn’t anything like that,” He said. “We talked and we thought we could pull it off, so we did … The first one was just us, the University of Toronto, York University, and Ryerson University.”

To prepare for the UIAT, He organized in-house competitions for archery club members. 

“We get a pretty big turnout for that,” He said. “Everyone knows the UIAT is looming every spring. However, I think there’s a little bit of intimidation among people.”

Archery is not considered a varsity sport by the OUA, the sport competition board for universities in Ontario of which UW is a member. Hence, club members are not considered varsity athletes and are not eligible for varsity scholarships.

“We don’t advertise ourselves as an archery team; we’re a club. We come here to shoot, to provide people with equipment to shoot, and some basic lessons. There is that opportunity to compete … especially this year, I tried to focus on our novices.”

Moving forward, He expressed interest in having a professional coach come in to work with archers. While many club members have completed coaching certifications to be instructors, He hopes that bringing in a professional coach would bring the club a “step towards a more competitive direction.”

Interested students can pre-register to become a member for the Spring 2016 term on the archery club’s website. Membership is $20 at the beginning of the term, or $15 mid-term, and includes equipment. Introductory lessons are also provided.

“[Interest] has never been as high,” He said.