BEFORE the suspension of all sporting activity throughout TT due to the spread of covid19, Mendez Sporting Club hosted its inaugural introductory archery classes at Kay Trace Recreation Grounds, Mendez Village, Siparia.
Fifteen budding archers, ranging from nine to 70 years old, were privy to eight sessions of intense technical and practical training by president and coach of Southern Bowtech Archery Club, Selwyn Jagessar. He is also a level three National Training System and national coach.
This was the first time the community sports club hosted an archery event in the rural south village. According to the club’s public relations officer, Franklin Hansraj, the developmental programme captured the interest of villagers and received an overwhelming response from both young and old enthusiasts. The inspiration to host such an event in Mendez was derived from villager and national Recurve Junior Women number two-ranked TT Archery Federation athlete, Chanel Kessoon. The 20-year-old Naparima Girls High School student also placed second in the TT 18m Indoor Tournament during the 2019 season.
Franklin welcomed such a fresh initiative to the club’s itinerary of events and admitted they will continue to pursue newer ideas to keep young people involved in more community-bonding events.
“It was an excellent initiative to get young people involved. It was an innovative idea that we put out. In the beginning, everyone was skeptical but as the programme went on, a number of people began calling and requesting a second session. When things begin to stabilise, we will have a second session with the coach and the newly interested persons,” he said.
Certificates for graduates of the first programme are yet to be disbursed by the organisers due to the many restrictions placed on travel and outdoor sporting events because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Franklin was also one of the 15 participants who lauded the resounding success and feedback from this first cycle.
“It was a great success. It’s something that you can actually challenge and test yourself with. It’s all up to you. The good thing is we were allowed the privilege to shoot with professional bows and arrows and certified persons. I would recommend it for anybody,” he added.
After covid19 restrictions have been lifted, the club intends to host another introductory session to get more people involved. As training intensifies, learners must transfer their training grounds to Southern Bowtech’s headquarters in Reform Village, Gasparillo, to continue their athletic progression
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