Classes, leagues begin soon
by JOSH ZUIDERVEEN
Spring is here, arrows are flying! That’s right, I said arrows. You thought I was going to write about flowers? Insects? Summer camp? Wrong.
Kids, teenagers, and young adults up to 20 years old are shooting arrows in the Rapid Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) program, and they’re having a blast. While they’re having a blast, these shooters are winning tournaments and taking home championships—regional, state, national, you name it. One young shooter is a five-time national champion. They have won and won again, been in the paper, and been on TV. But these shooters aren’t done yet. They want more titles, and they want to put Rockford on the national archery map.
The Rapid JOAD, in partnership with the West Michigan Archery Center and Algoma Township, is helping to bring an Olympic-caliber archery facility to Rockford later this year. This will be one of only four such facilities in the country, which is a testament to the quality of archery instruction in West Michigan. The proposed facility will reside on 10 Mile Road just west of the city limits.
In the meantime, there are many summer leagues and practices. The Rapid Junior Olympic Archery Development club is kicking off its summer outdoor program at Rockford Sportsman’s Club. Shooters from 10 years old and up, from beginner to crack-shot, are encouraged to come learn and get coached in archery. Don’t worry about room; there are one dozen certified coaches! Adult shooters are welcomed, too, starting in July for the Saturday morning outdoor league.
If you’ve never shot a bow, you can enroll and learn how to shoot successfully. The Rapid will supply all the equipment. If you can already hit a paper plate at 18 meters, coaches can help you hit an apple. And if you want to drop arrows into a tight group at a 70-meter outdoor target, you can learn that, too. The cost is only $5 per Saturday morning shoot.
Last summer, the Rapid hosted the State Games of Michigan archery venue in Rockford. They will host it again this year, and they will compete in other tournaments, too, in addition to doing what they always do: have fun.
For information about the Rapid JOAD program times, start dates and availability, please visit www.rockfordarchery.org. For information about adult leagues and times, please visit www.Rockfordsportsmansclub.com, or contact William Skallos