Archery - why I love it | Sunday Observer

Archery - why I love it

28 February, 2021
Valentina Acosta
Valentina Acosta

The sun shone harshly down on the sports grounds as my teammates and I stood in a line, facing the target, our bows at the ready. I slowly drew my bow, going over each step in my head, trying not to get distracted. My eyes were glued to the target and the rest of the world blurred away leaving only it and myself.

My bow clicked, and I released immediately after. I watched the arrow as it sped towards the target. The feeling of getting your arrow in the centre of the target is unexplainable. Relief washes over you and the determination to do it again follows right after. The hunger to feel that again and again is among the multitude of reasons that I love archery. Before I started doing archery as a sport, when my peers would gloat over how determined they were to be the best at their sport, I could only stand there perplexed. Archery has finally

Types of bows

made me understand their determination and willpower. Archery was the first sport that has finally given me a chance to have a passion and a determination to excel in a sport.

Archery is an individual sport which includes using a bow to shoot an arrow at a target that’s sectioned into different areas with different values ranging from one to ten. Archers will try their best to shoot to the middle of the target where the point value is the highest. After shooting a designated number of arrows, the archer with the most points is crowned as the champion.

Sri Lanka’s relationship with archery dates to 48,000 years ago and Sri Lanka boasts of the oldest arrow outside of Africa. It was found in the Fa Hien Cave. The arrows show that they were used to hunt monkeys and smaller animals like squirrels.

Even though archery was used as a hunting method as early as 10 000 BC, with the introduction of firearms, archery as a hunting method was stopped and instead was picked up as a recreational sport. It became an official sport at the Olympics in 1900. Archery was then further expanded when The World Archery Association was founded in 1931.

Sri Lanka went founded the Sri Lanka Archery Association in 1999. Archery began gaining more and more interest in Sri Lanka as various clubs opened and more people started to engage in the sport. There are many talented archers whom young archers can look up to, and one of my favourites is Valentina Acosta from Colombia, who was the 2019 Youth Championship Gold

 Vinuri Gunaratne

medalist. She became the first person from Colombia to win such a title with a recurve bow, a title I strive to achieve someday.

Other than the Youth Championships, there are numerous other Archery tournaments to take part in. Sri Lanka has many tournaments for advanced archers and beginners alike to participate in.

Archery is not just a physical sport but it is also a mental one. You should be able to block out the world and not let any trains of thought lead you astray. I often get distracted during tournaments and think about anything but the tournament in a subconscious way to calm myself down.

After I have realised the frenzy that my mind is spiraling into, I try to calm myself. Once my mind is no longer in a panic, I begin to shoot. All other noises drown out as I load an arrow and begin to draw my bow, focusing only on the target. I would go through my checklist of steps slowly while carrying them out, having full confidence that these steps will get the arrow where I want it to go. I wait till my bow clicks and try my best to execute my technique well.

My eyes followed the arrow in anticipation as it flew towards the target.


-Vinuri Gunaratne

Maitland Archery

Arrowheads found in the Fa-Hien Cave