UNT archery club increases campus involvement and membership

UNT archery club increases campus involvement and membership

UNT archery club increases campus involvement and membership
September 13
00:26 2018

The archery club at UNT has increased its membership by 90 percent since its founding, reaching its current heights of 55 members in 2018.

“I really like seeing all the people [and] the growth we had,” club member and senior Jake Durham said.  “My freshman year it was a very small group of people — it was basically the group of people that were there when the club was started.”

Durham, who has been a member since his freshman year, said there were a few reasons the club grew this past year. One of these was the switch to practicing at Cinnamon Creek Ranch in Roanoke, Texas.

 Another reason is due to the club becoming more open and friendly to the campus.

“I believe students should look to UNT Archery not only to join an interesting rec sports club but to make friends you can keep throughout your time at UNT and beyond,” club president and junior Gwen Murphy said. “During my time in the club, I have made countless friends I know I will keep up with after I graduate because we have built such a tight-knit familial community within our club.”

Murphy is a junior at UNT who has been shooting for 12 years now and an instructor for four.

Gwen Murphy shoots an arrow with her bow as fellow members watch. Gwen Murphy is the president of the UNT archery club. Omar Gonzalez

“As soon as I turned 16, I took a training course in order to become a Level One certified instructor through USA Archery and started working at my local range [Texas Archery Academy in Plano],” Murphy said. “While working birthday parties and corporate events were a blast, my real passion for teaching came from teaching children. I loved being able to help a child pull back a bow and watch their eyes grow wide as they pop a balloon or hit a 3D animal target.”

Murphy is also training to compete in the Olympics through the club and doesn’t plan to stop just there. To keep up with the archery community, she plans on instructing for a long time.

“After I graduate from UNT in May 2020, I plan to return to my training schedule of shooting a minimum of 200 arrows a day, six days a week,” Murphy said. “I look forward to attending more national events before I qualify for an Olympic Games, and attending some international competitions as well! I have no doubt that when I’m not training, I will be teaching private lessons in order to keep up my instructor certifications. I fully intend to be part of the USA Archery community until I die, whether that be through competing or teaching the youth of today.”

Though Durham and Murphy both are experienced archers, those with little to no archery experience are also encouraged to join the club. Sophomore Jeff Young started in spring 2018 and is already looking at going into competitions and holds the position of secretary. Young believes the friendships he found in the club are a big reason why he joined.

“Being in the club, we go out to eat after every practice and with that you just sort of have a familial bond with everyone you’re with,” Young said.

Inside the world of archery, there are a few different classifications of equipment that one can use: compound, barebow and Olympic recurve. The three classifications have their own divisions for competition, and archers are able to grow through them.

A compound bow is focused around the technology that can aid for a more accurate shot while barebow is more focused on the archer’s own skill and is much less accurate. Meeting them in the middle is the Olympic recurve, a barebow with a sight and other tools to help the archer get the perfect shot.

“If you’re simply looking for a rec sports club to have fun with once a week and learn a new sport, we can be that club,” Murphy said. ”If you are looking to buy equipment, find a private lesson coach and start competing, we can be that club. You can take your experience with UNT archery as far as you want to, and I am proud to have been a part of this adaptable, unique club.”

Featured Image: Members of the UNT archery club shoot bows at Cinnamon Creek Ranch located on Old Denton road. The UNT archery club had held its first practice on Sept. 5. Omar Gonzalez

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Spencer Nelson

Spencer Nelson

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