Archery is usually seen as a “white sport” as black and brown communities often lack access to the sport and are, therefore, not able to participate in accompanying sports leagues.
A New Jersey-based organisation is hoping to break that stereotype. Known as the Black Latino Archery Association, the organisation specifically serves people of colour in New Jersey.
To members of the organisation, archery, the art of shooting arrows with a bow usually at a target, is an all-inclusive sport. Regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, colour and all other societal parameters that might exist, everyone can be an archer, said the group.
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The organisation’s primary purpose is to help promote the sport of archery, especially to underprivileged communities where they have no clue what the sport is.
According to the president and co-founder, Thurmond Gillis Jr., archery taught him to let go of anger. In an interview with The Root, he said: “When I’m pulling, that’s me collecting all the anger and tension, and when I let that go, that’s me releasing it.”
Archery didn’t begin as a sport. Its use was first recorded among the ancient Egyptians around 3,000BC mainly for hunting and warfare. The Chinese and Japanese are also early users of the bow and arrow.
Along the line, the English also took on archery as was seen in its adaptation of the popular fable, Robin Hood. The first known archery competition was held in England, Finsbury, precisely in 1583 which had 3,000 competitors.
In recent times, Hollywood has adopted archery in a few popular movies like the Hunger Games and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
Archery, as a sport, is addictive, according to the World Archery Organization. It helps archers learn to focus in all aspects of their lives.
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