Archers Come Together for Kansas Championship
A solid shot by 14-year-old Mason Hare, one of several participants in the Kansas State Archery Championship where 10 groups are competing across 20 different targets.
“I’ve been shooting really well so far. I’ve had like one time that I messed up, but other than that it’s pretty good,” said Hare.
Hare has been shooting for the past six years and says that he first fell in love with the sport when he attended a Cub Scout camp.
“It was pretty cool. I just got hooked on it from there. I wanted to make it a hobby for myself so that’s what I did,” Hare explained.
Nate Klein, the Vice President of tournaments for the Kansas State Archery Association, explains that this is a sport that you can grow into.
“As long as you can still hold the bow up and pull it, you can still shoot. I’ve known some guys in their 80’s that were still shooting,” said Klein.
But for some, it’s not just about hitting the target. It’s forming friendships.
“Being social during these competitions is definitely part of it. It’s just super cool to talk to other archers. ‘How are they doing, how are they shooting,'” said Hare.
And 13-year-old archer Kylie Hayes would agree.
“I’ve made really good friendships. Like, they’re not just friendships, they’re family,” said Hayes.
In fact, these three are becoming friends already.
“I’ve met Kylie. I’ve met Mason. I’ve met one of my best friends even, I’ve met through archery,” West said.
Seeing younger participants bonding through archery warms Klein’s heart.
“It definitely does me good to see it growing and I’m hoping it will help this club grow some of their stuff by drawing people down here,” Klein said.
Win or lose, Hare aims on encouraging others to get involved in archery.
“I would definitely go for it if you could. It’s such an awesome thing to do,” said Hare.
17 different classes of archery participated in the Kansas championship competition. You can learn more about joining an archery club here.