This past fall, the Archery Club hosted Deerfield’s first-ever school-wide archery competition. During the event, nine entrants shot at different-sized targets placed at varying distances from the archer.
Asu Bilirgen ‘14, the club’s president, took home the trophy herself with an impressive last bonus shot into a pumpkin 30 yards away.
Bilirgen counted the competition as a success, but not just because she won. She thought everybody really enjoyed themselves, explaining, “It was a lot of fun. Everybody loves the competition!”
The Archery Club met outside of Harold Smith or on the Lower Levels. on most Sundays for one hour this fall to hone their shooting skills outside.
Bilirgen stressed the range of experiences at the club. She said, archery is “not too hard to pick up after some practice.”
The 10 to 15 kids who usually show up have their favorite bows and rotate in shooting at the targets. After one round, everybody gathers the arrows, and then the second group takes their turn.
Three years ago, Dr. Cullinane and recent Deerfield alumna Sofi Taylor ‘13 established the club with the goal of providing students with the opportunity to learn the sport, while maintaining the focus on having fun.
In its early days, the pioneers of Deerfield Archery would meet in the basement of Harold Smith and share two primitive bows. When it became clear that two bows were not enough to support the club’s growing attendance, the officers reached out to the Finance Department.
Mr. Finan, Associate Head of School for Operations and Chief Financial Officer, played an essential role in developing the archery club. With his help, the school was able to supply the Archery Club with a set of new equipment.
Adriana Sanes ’16, a regular attendee at the Sunday practices, shared that her favorite part of the club is “being taught to shoot by Dr. Cullinane and hitting the targets. It gives a feeling of satisfaction.”
The officers are hopeful that the impressive growth of the archery club over the past few years will continue at the same rate. Bilirgen and Assistant Dean of Students Mr. Kelly, the club’s faculty advisor, have big plans for the future of archery at Deerfield. Besides continuing the weekly meetings in the spring, the club will also try to continue holding competitions.
“Once the Deerfield tournament grows to 20 or 30 kids, hopefully we can expand to a Pioneer Valley Regional Tournament,” Mr. Kelly said.