Archery as a sport has room for growth with the right kind of support. (photo by VOXSPORTS).
Along the quiet field of Telok Blangah St 31 was the silent buzz of concentration among the different archers who were taking part in the Archery Association of Singapore (AAS) Singapore Archery Championships 2013.
This year’s competition, which took place over the weeknd of the 3rd and 4th of August, encompassed four main categories: Men’s and Women’s Recurve, and Men’s and Women’s Compound. The main categories were further divided into individual and team events.
Competition amongst the participants was no child’s play, especially with the unexpected wind conditions in the morning and the sanctioning of the event by World Archery.
All records were taken into account and the participants had the chance to qualify for a world ranking. An added incentive was the Challenge Trophy that specially designed for the event. With that, the participants were no longer playing solely for individual glory, but also for their respective teams or clubs.
The added sum of individual winnings would determine the ultimate victor, and it was Potong Pasir Community Centre Archery Club who attained the title this year. The catch was, while their names were to be engraved on to the trophy, it would not stay in their hands permanently until they had won three years consecutively.
While the news of the competition had been a little tardy, there was still a good showing of participants from the different archery clubs and even national archers. Ong Zhong Da, overall coordinator of the event, looks forward to better turn-ups for future events and the overall promotion of archery as a sport in Singapore.
“Currently, what has been taking place in the local archery scene is a lot of community-centric events. Clubs will set up fun shoot booths, but we (AAS) are looking beyond that,” said Ong, “we are expecting the competitiveness for the future years to go up.”
The support from the local archers has been overwhelming, but Ong admitted that there needed to be more support and funding externally. The current situation is that without these support, it would be difficult to push archery in Singapore to a higher platform.
“As a National Sport Association (NSA), we’re contributing to the people. We’re not doing this for ourselves, but rather for the athletes.”
Chan Jing Ru, a participant from Team NUS, was representative of the athletes that Ong had been speaking of. She had initially joined the sport just to fulfill the need for a Co-Curricular Activity (CCA) in polytechnic, but had eventually stayed on because she had found it to be a good challenge.
“I feel that if the schools are more open to accepting this sport as a CCA, more people will know about this sport,” she said, “ If in school, you’ve already started off this interest, then it will be more likely for people to want to continue on.”