Teens in Lower Mainland flock to take up archery (thank you Hunger Games?)

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Lauren Tang, 13, stands next to her bullseye at Lykopis Archery School.

 

Like the iconic sitcom Friends spawning a sea of “Rachel” haircuts in the ’90s, Hollywood films have inspired more young people in the Lower Mainland to pick up a new hobby — archery.

Thanks to movies aimed at kids highlighting the bow and arrow like The Hunger Games, The Avengers and Brave, droves of boys and girls across the Lower Mainland have been voraciously consuming archery toys and signing up for lessons.

“We’ve had an explosion of students, especially young women,” said Patricia Gonsalves, owner and lead instructor at Lykopis Archery school in New Westminster.

One of those young women is 13-year-old Lauren Tang who took her first archery class with Gonsalves this summer and hopes to continue on with the sport.

“I got interested by watching the Hunger Games movie and reading the book,” she said.

“Katniss (one of the main characters) is very heroic and brave and I liked how she sacrificed herself for her family.”

Not all of Gonsalves’ students are new or female, however. Will Honcharuk, 13, is a veteran archer of almost five years.

“I was always fascinated with medieval times since I was very little,” he said. “I read Robin Hood, I still think he’s really awesome. I loved that story, and I think I ruined that VCR tape (of the Disney cartoon) watching it over and over again.”

Honcharuk joined western martial arts school Academie Duello, where Gonsalves also runs the archery program. He said he has noticed a lot of recent newcomers to the sport.

“Legolas (from the Lord of the Rings), The Hobbit, Brave, all those things have brought a coolness to archery,” said Will.

Ron Boorman, 80, owns Boorman Archery in New Westminster. He’s run the store for the last 45 years, and he said he hasn’t quite seen anything like the boom in sales in the last six to eight months.

“I can’t keep stock in the store,” said Boorman. “There’s tons of kids now, I mention Hunger Games and they all giggle so they must have seen the show.”

Original story from 24 Hours Vancouver.

 

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