#By BRENT STUBBS
#Senior Sports Reporter
#REUBEN Rahming, Member of Parliament for Pinewood, decided to broaden the horizon of the residents of his constituency by inviting the Bahamas Archery Federation to introduce the sport of archery through the formation of the Pinewood Archery Club.
#Since last June, coach David Rahming has had the responsibility of working with close to 20 youngsters every Saturday morning between the hours of 10am and noon, teaching them the art of the sport, which increases mental focus, confidence and discipline.
#“Because it’s open to everyone, we don’t charge for this course,” said David Rahming, who also serves as the head of the BAF’s national team. It’s a good time for the kids to make friends when they come out and we have some parents who also come out to support their children, so it’s also a good time for the families.”
#Since they got started, coach Rahming said the response has been very good.
#“People have been coming by and some come and stop, but there is a core group that we are working with,” he said. “Right now, there are two members who we are preparing for to compete in an international tournament in May.
#“It’s a tournament that happens every year, but it’s mainly for the development for those persons who are getting started in the sport.”
#In the Pinewood Archery Club, persons are taught the basic skills of Olympic archery. They go through the rules of the game and they compete according to their abilities.
#“Archery has a lot of disciplines, but we focus here on Olympic recurve bow archery and company bow archery,” he said. “Recurve bow is what they use in the Olympics and the Pan Am Games and all those games that you have to go to in order to qualify for the Olympics.
#“The company is another type that we are introducing to the kids. There are also a lot of international games that they can go to. Our ultimate objective is to qualify people who can compete and join the national team to represent us in major international archery events.”
#In order to join the Pinewood Archery Club, all one has to do is show up with a keen interest to learn the game. Rahming is assisted by three trainers/coaches, who will take each person and tailor them through their interests.
#“Some people might want to just do it for recreation and some people might want to do it more competitively and then there are some people who want to just give it a try,” Rahming said. “Traditionally, I like to start teaching archery at age 10, but it depends on the individual child. The parents should know if their child is ready for the sport.”
#Working along with Rahming are coaches Jide Lowe, Dario Higgs and Kendal Rolle, who started out as first time members, but they were able to be taught and trained to achieve their level one certification and are heading towards level two.
#Eventually Rahming said he would like to see them join him at the highest level at number four.
#One Saturday when he came out to introduce his daughter to the sport, Rolle said his curiosity was sparked and his interest was peaked. “When I first started it, it was a lot of fun,” he said. “| really fell in love with it from the beginning and I’ve been here ever since. It’s just been awesome. I learned so much from day one and now. We started out at 17 metres and we are now shooting “from 30 metres and we are at a steady pace, so we seem to be progressing very well.”
#Like Rolle, Higgs also got interested when he bought his son out. “I was invited to shoot and I just got hooked,” he said. “It’s been fun. I enjoy it. I look forward to coming out on Saturdays.”
#For his sales pitch to others, Higgs said he would advise them to come out because “it’s an enjoyable sport, very healthy and it encourages focus and discipline. “I would recommend anyone coming out and trying it. I’m sure they would like it like I did.”
#Two members of the club say that was one of the main reasons why they got involved and now they are just as eager about where it will take them in the future.
#Berneka Cox, a 17-year-old, joined the club three weeks ago to get in some physical activity to help her graduate from home school this year as a 12th grader. So far, she has no regrets.
#“It’s been good,” she said. It’s not a hard sport, so I would encourage more girls to come out and get involved. It doesn’t require much running, which most girls don’t like. It’s so easy. The hardest part is the sun. I like it. It’s great.”
#And Donte Darling, a 12-year-old eighth grader at CH Reeves, has been in the club since last year.
#“I wanted to learn how to shoot so if there’s any problems, I would be able to take care of myself,” he said. “It’s been a lot of fun. I’ve been able to shoot arrows.”
#To those who would like to join Darling, he advises them that “archery is a very fun sport and you can go a lot of different places with it,” he said.
#I don’t know where I will go. I didn’t plan to make it my career, but if I get to go somewhere that would be nice.”
#For now, it’s all about having fun learning the game of archery.