hitting the target 101 with prajeet agrawal & avishek pradhan
It’s up to you exactly how you approach starting out, but the best first suggestion is to seek out your
local archery club or range. And good news for people around the valley: we have a place to start out.
Best Archery, located in Jhamsikhel, might be the place you want to visit. It is also the place where
Prajeet Agrawal and Avishek Pradhan tried their hand at archery. A few years later, they are now the
national archers for Nepal in the Compound category. They have been bagging awards and medals,
so their claim of archery being a great stress reliever as well as a great mental and physical workout
holds truth. Not only them but according to Harvard University, 30 minutes of archery burns about
100 calories, depending on your body weight. In addition to that, properly drawing a bow strengthens
your core, arms, chest, hands and shoulders. A strengthened core also improves posture and blood
flow, boosting energy levels as your cells pump oxygen to your organs and muscles.
You may be surprised to learn that
there are several health benefits
to participating in archery. In
addition to physical benefits,
archery can improve your mental
health as well.
With the health mumbo-jumbo on the sides, let’s read about their story below. And if any of our readers would like to
try their hand at this sport, you know where to go.
How did you get interested in Archery? Did you always plan to be a professional?
PA: For me it was my passion but now it has become my profession since I have been doing this full time recently. I am in the national team and I have committed to the sport as it needs a lot of time and preparation. However, I was always interested in archery as a child as well but there was no place to practice or have any equipment but after I found Best Archery I got a place to practice.
AP: For me archery started out as a medium to relax. I work fulltime so after a hard day at work I came here to shoot a few arrows and that helped me with clearing my head for the next day and I could focus better. I saw this promotional page on Facebook of best archery and that is how I came here to just try and I was hooked. I started off as a rookie and now I am a national player. And Prajeet and me, we have been friends for a long time, to be precise over 15 years now and I let him know about this and he loved it as well. And here we are, it all worked out well. And now we use Compound bows because it fits out physical built and that what we perform with in international and national tournaments and games. We never thought that we would reach this level, to be honest we were surprised with our own performance. The last tournament was held in Bangladesh, it was the SAF tournaments and we managed to bag the bronze in the team event. We beat Srilanka for the medal and that was a proud moment for us.
What is the scope of Archery as a professional sport in Nepal? Does it come with challenges and if so what can be done to reduce them?
There’s no doubt that it’s had an impact over the years because it has done a lot to get people interested in archery. You feel like a superhero, even when you’re missing shots. Historically speaking, archery is a method of survival and that is what has turned into a game now. So, it goes way back. Over, the years, it has definitely gained more popularity but it is still not enough if we are talking about the situation of Nepal. We have all sorts of high-tech equipment and
different techniques of shooting and competing with other archers. But, when we go to international games, we cannot match up to the level of the equipment some of the archers use because it is pretty expensive, out there the government and the sports clubs of the respective country invest in equipment but we have to buy it ourselves. We have no facilities whatsoever in Nepal from the government’s side. There are no coaches, no proper training area, most of us we learn through looking at YouTube videos and tutorials. But, still we manage to get medals and represent Nepal in the champions list.
There’s no doubt that it’s
had an impact over the
years because it has done
a lot to get people
interested in archery. You
feel like a superhero, even
when you’re missing shots.
How has Archery helped you and how can it help others who might be interested or are just starting?
Some people thrive in individual sports and others thrive in team sports. Archery allows both. All archers are in charge of their own bows, and they alone determine how well they’ll shoot. When shooting at a range, archers stand next to many others who share the same passion. And people of all ages enjoy archery and one great aspect is that friendships formed on the archery range might last a lifetime.
Though archery is often perceived as a stationary sport, competitive archers actually require a significant amount of strength, endurance and focus to perform well. If you aren’t familiar with the demands of the sport then you may be surprised to learn that there are several health benefits to participating in archery. In addition to physical benefits, archery can improve your mental health as well.
Even in competition, an archer’s greatest opponent is himself. Identifying what to improve and setting clear goals is easy – after all, results are all based on easily-measurable scores. Progression breeds confidence, and there’s no better sport to measure that than archery.
What is the difference between the styles of archery?
Both styles have their merits, each has its limitations. There is value to understanding each. The issue arises only when you confuse which style you are using. Much like in archery, analysts often slip into instinctive practices when they get in a jam. You must realize that once you do – reliability, optimization, and the other most structured components are compromised. You may achieve your outcome regardless, but don’t mistake what you did. Failure to recognize this will undermine your efforts.
WORDS : SHREYA SANGROULA | PHOTOS: GAURAV XHOMPATE SUNUWAR | LOCATION: BEST ARCHERY, JHAMSIKHEL