Sunday morning (21st January 2018) did not look like it was going to be fine day. At about 7am, the sky was thick with low clouds and it looked like we were in for a very drippy time. Eagles started trickling into the TBAC range from about 7:30am and the sky thankfully lightened up by 8am, revealing welcome rays of sunshine. It was going to be a good day after all. 🙂 By 8am, most of the 23 confirmed volunteers (swelling to about 30 at final count) were up and about, busy setting up the range and registration desk. This was rounded off with a final briefing by Rhino Chew, the gruffest of our gruff coaches.
The first run of our Archery for Life Barebow Try-out event attracted 33 archers and was over-subscribed. There were even some residents who turned up at the range trying to get a place but we were unable to accommodate them we were short of equipment. 33 archer wannabees (shooting in one detail) is a very large number in the context of Singapore. We could not have supervised so many without the unstinting volunteerism of TBAC members.
Of the 33 participants, there were 3 lucky boys who were mistakenly registered due to an administrative mix-up. I say lucky, as there was no shortage of very qualified helpers who paid personal attention to their safety and enjoyment; and we happened to have some children bows around.
The 3-hour event was divided into 2 halves, with a 15 minute break in between. Participants were treated to a demonstration by our experienced archers who showed off their skills with a Basic Barebow (30m balloon targets), Whistling Arrows (to about 50m), Asiatic Recurve Bow (18m traditional straw target board and a Modern Take-down Recurve Hunting Bow (18m 3-D ground target). It was a very cooperative crowd and all listened attentively to instructions by PA Coach Tan Tor Seng, Coach Dennis Ng and Club Coach Uncle Chew. The distribution was 4 archers to a board with 2 board supervisors to each board of archers.
Our high volunteer numbers meant that the newbie archers were kept engaged throughout the event and instruction was only a whisper away. You could see the improvement in their archery skills as the session coasted towards the end, culminating in a Nearest-the-Centre competition. Archers shot only 1 arrow at the 122cm Target and 1 arrow at the 3-D ground target. You could feel the tense and exciting atmosphere as the new archers took turns to aim and launch their arrows.
At last count, 17 have signed up for the Barebow Course (commencing on 4th February 2018). This is a very encouraging sign-up rate and we hope that this portends of equally good take-up rates in the next 3 runs.
We hope all participants had an enjoyable morning at the TBAC range and have discovered the joy of Barebow Archery. Do help to spread the word around about our upcoming Archery for Life Barebow Try-out runs and Barebow Courses. Thank you for sharing your Sunday morning with us at the TBAC and a Very BIG Thank You to all our Volunteers!