Norfolk Archery Club right on target for area marksmen
Tucked away in the basement of Midtown Health Center in Norfolk, men and women gather every Thursday night to refine their skills in one of the oldest arts still practiced today.
Piped-in classic rock and the thick sound of arrows driving into cardboard and foam-backed paper targets fill the air while members of the Norfolk Archery Club take turns shooting practice rounds at the indoor range.
Then the music is turned off, the archers line up and the real scoring begins.
Some members of the “league” have been involved for decades, while others are fairly new.
Jason Mock of Battle Creek said he has been an archer for five years and has been involved with the Norfolk Archery Club for the past four.
“Mainly, I started with archery because I got interested in bow hunting. Then I decided to join the club to have a place to shoot for practice. The previous guy that was director quit, and they needed someone to do it, so I volunteered to take over,” Mock said.
As league director, Mock is responsible for running the time clock, entering scores and keeping track of all of the participant standings.
Archery is an individual sport, and those involved in league shoot either a 450 Vegas round or a 300 NFAA (National Field Archery Association) round. In the summer, lead members also shoot field hunter ammo outside, Mock said.
Depending on the time of year and what league members are shooting, there are usually about 20 to 30 attendees at any given time. There are also specific times for children, YMCA groups and college students to shoot.
Because the Norfolk Archery Club gets a fair amount of use, the range underwent a recent renovation.
“We did a few things, including new carpet and a 10-yard range for younger kids to shoot on,” Mock said.
Ken Schneider of Norfolk has practiced archery and bow hunting for about 45 years, and he has been participating in league for the past 20.
“My older brothers did (archery) when I was a kid, and then they kind of got away from it. But I’ve always had an interest in it,” Schneider said.
He started with a recurve bow — what he described as a long bow, “or basically a stick with a string” — and found that he really enjoyed the sport. He eventually began shooting with a compound bow, which uses a “cam” or pulley system to provide a mechanical advantage of increased leverage.
Schneider said when he moved to Norfolk, he didn’t really have a place to shoot, but he wanted to keep up with his practice.
The Norfolk Archery Club provided him that opportunity, as well as helping him to get involved in competition shooting, including 3D shoots.
“We’re holding one from Feb. 8-10. They use foam animals that have scoring rings on them, and you shoot for the best score. We usually get a fair amount of participation,” Schneider said.
That particular event, as well as some others throughout the year, uses the proceeds for a scholarship fund.
“It’s used for kids’ college, usually kids involved in 4-H or a college (archery) program. The last four or five years, we’ve given out three $500 scholarships,” Schneider said.
Schneider said anyone interested in archery should check out the club, located in the basement of Midtown Health Center at Third Street and Phillip Avenue.
“We always welcome new members. We’ve got quite a group here,” he said.
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Want to find out more?
Email Jason Mock at firstname.lastname@example.org, the Norfolk Archery Club at email@example.com or like the archery club on Facebook.