Archery course is right on target for city’s youth
Hitting the bullseye takes practice. It also takes disciple to learn how to shoot with a bow and arrow. But while there are skills to be learned and safety measures to be followed, the archery classes offered at the Jackson Street Community Center were focused more on having fun.
“The key part of the classes is just to have some fun,” Malcolm Goodman said.
Goodman, the pastor of the Worship Christian Center, has been serving as an archery instructor at the downtown community center. Tuesday, that instruction came to a head as Goodman organized an archery tournament.
Three targets, each measuring 60 centimeters across, were set up in the community center’s gym and the five participants alternated aiming and shooting at them during rounds.
Participants were stationed 10 meters from the targets, Goodman said, and they each shot five arrows per round.
“When I started I could barely hit the target,” Tirosky Hill said. But after honing in on his skills, the 14-year-old Hill said he is proud of how far he has come. “What I have enjoyed most about archery is that I have accomplished a goal.
“In archery, you have to be focused because you want to hit your best score,” Hill said. “Every arrow counts and even if you don’t hit exactly where you want to, it is still a score.”
Hill, unlike some of the students who participated in the summer classes, has been involved with archery outside of the community center and has even participated in 4-H district tournaments where he earned first- and second-place awards.
Archery classes were held once a week at the Jackson Street Community Center and over the course of the two-month offering, 10 students ranging in ages from 7 to 16 years old, participated.
Vickie Bailey, who is the director of the City of Vicksburg’s Youth Development Department, said Goodman, who is a certified archery instructor, has been volunteering his services since classes were started.
“We have a club at our church and what you are seeing here is what we have been doing at our church for four years,” Goodman said.
Participants are taught safety first.
“And then we teach technique,” Goodman said. “Once a child gets the proper technique it is pretty much aim and fire.”
Archery is not hard to learn, Goodman said, and the sport teaches lifelong lessons.
“Archery teaches discipline and discipline passes on throughout life. From school to pleasure to careers,” he said.
Archery also teaches cooperation and encouragement, Goodman said, when playing on a team.
Hill said he hopes to play on a high school team and maybe even a college archery team, but if not he will still enjoy archery as a hobby.
Goodman said the cost of a bow and arrows can cost around $240 depending on the quality. The archery equipment at the community center, Goodman said, was provided by the city of Vicksburg, and all lessons were offered free of charge.
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