As Brandeis University’s archery club plans to hold a unique long-range distance shooting tournament in March to help raise money for its fast-growing collegiate team, distinguished archers throughout the country are already clamoring to compete in the Waltham event, club representatives said.
The “Shamrock Shoot,” which takes place March, 17, St. Patrick's Day, will be the first event run solely by the club on the campus. The student-run event is expected to draw national level competitors, which will help the expanding team purchase equipment and fund travel costs to various local and national competitions, including the United States Intercollegiate Archery Competition in Utah this year, club representatives said.
Over the past five years, Brandeis Archery has grown more than six-fold from a small team of four competitive shooters to an active club with 24 team members and several non-competitive club members, representatives said.
Although the Brandeis club co-hosts several other fundraisers each year,including an annual indoor competition at target-shooting facility Ace Archers in Foxboro, this event will be the club’s first independently-hosted tournament.
The event also represents a new opportunity for competitive archers poised between the indoor and outdoor seasons.
Although most archers begin the spring shooting at an 18-meter distance indoors, the event, hosted the Gosman field house at Brandeis, will be a unique 70-meter indoor shoot, allowing competitors to get an early start with the longer distance normally only shot outdoors. The 70-meter shoot is also the standard distance used in Olympic archery, club representatives said.
Because the long-range indoor shooting distance is so unique, many members from archery shops in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and throughout New England committed to the event before the competition’s application was even released.
The initial announcement has already generated interest from members at the Olympic training center in California, where Brandeis head coach E.G. LeBre has worked with the some of the future stars of US archery, club representatives said.
With the recent portrayals of archers in pop culture, archery has seen a huge upsurge in popularity, representatives said.
LeBre said in a statement that the Brandeis team has been working hard to teach other students about the sport.
"The team is excited to not only bring the Archery community to their school, but to offer an opportunity to shoot a truly unique event,” LeBre said.
Shamrock Shoot applications are available online at the Brandeis Archery website, and at many local archery shops. The shoot is open to compound and recurve archers, with divisions of Juniors through Masters.
For more information, visit the Brandeis archery club's website.