Skip to content

Local students learn the art of archery

Students in Grade 4 to Grade 8 have been learning how to shoot a bow and arrow in gym class this school year.

THUNDER BAY – Students at Algonquin Avenue Public School are on target for a fun and practical learning experience.

Since last fall, students in Grade 4 to Grade 8 at the north-side school have been learning the fine art of archery, practicing their aim, while learning discipline, math skills and having a chance to try something outside their normal list of activities.

Thirteen-year-old Dailon Gross, a Grade 8 student at Algonquin Avenue School, said he’s been having a blast since first picking up a bow and arrow last fall.

It’s pretty cool, he said, recalling that first time he tried the sport.

“I was pretty excited because I’d never shot bows before. It’s a really fun experience,” he said, adding he’s gotten pretty good at the sport.

“I’m decent,” he said. “I wouldn’t say too good.”

School principal Darren Lentz said it was an easy decision to join the National Archery in Schools Program, which has more than 30,000 people involved in the sport nationwide.

“It teaches kids so many things,” Lentz said on Friday, as his students prepared for a provincial-level competition, joined later in the day by local high school students also participating in the program.

“It’s been a big part of my life and it was a way to engage them in a different opportunity than they’ve every had in a phys ed class, and a different sport than they’ve ever had the opportunity of doing. It’s wonderful to give them a different opportunity and many of the kids have taken to it and are really doing well with the sport.”

Lentz said in addition to discipline, students are taught how to use the equipment safely.

It’s an activity that’s a big part of the Northwestern Ontario culture too, he added.

“We intertwine that with a variety of experiential activities that we do here. We do a lot of land-based activities and it’s awesome to get that opportunity to give the students a chance to do something different. We do it throughout the year, starting in September, all the way to May and June.”

Peterborough’s Tim Watts, the provincial coordinator for the NASP endeavour, said one of the great things about archery is that just about everyone can take part, athletes and non-athletes alike. The equipment is universal.

“It does not matter if you are tall or short or left-handed or right-handed – or young or old. Every single person in this school, in Grade 4 and up, can shoot a bow and arrow,” Watts said.

“When a school invests in the archery equipment, every single student will use it. You can’t necessarily say that about every sport.”

Students will be taking part in a provincial competition, their scores compared to those of about 700 other students province wide. Archers get points based on how close their arrow is to the bullseye in the centre of the target.

Leith Dunick

About the Author: Leith Dunick

A proud Nova Scotian who has called Thunder Bay home since 2002, Leith is Dougall Media's director of news, but still likes to tell your stories too. Wants his Expos back and to see Neil Young at least one more time. Twitter: @LeithDunick
Read more


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks