Rebecca Dickson, Reporter
PVC piping, string and an umbrella. These seemingly random materials found in a classroom in Hong Kong was the start of a three-year journey of archery for Marco Se, an international student at Pierce College Puyallup.
Se, also an American Honors student, is originally from Hong Kong. In class one day, he and his friends found these materials. Curious, the students made a bow and arrow out of household materials. The creation showed Se the difficulty archery provides.
As a child, Se wasn’t interested in sports. Although he played in elementary school and at summer camp, he didn’t take any active interest until he came to the United States to go to Pierce.
“Hong Kong is a small place,” Se said. “I wanted to study abroad somewhere. Twenty percent of students (in Hong Kong) can get into a university.”
Archery in particular was an interest for Se. When he saw Skookum Archery Club and Range near the Puyallup campus, he decided to start shooting again.
Se started on a compound bow, a bow which has a system of pulleys and other mechanisms to have less resistance when an archer gets into position to shoot. Although he started with this bow, he has since moved to a recurve bow. Recurve bows tend to have more resistance, as there’s no system of pulleys to help an archer pull the bow back into position.
“I love to shoot recurve more than a compound because I feel like I am doing it myself,” Se said. “It’s much more challenging, and I love that feeling.”
Ever since Se has started at the archery range, he’s been practicing once a week.
“I get better every time (and) I use this as entertainment,” Se said. “I go to a range every weekend so I can relax myself.”
Archery is a simple sport on appearance, but can be quite complex in reality. Not only are there different models and brands of bows, there are also different types of arrows, which can change the speed and accuracy of an arrow as it hits the target. Factors such as wind speed, wind direction, bow arm angle and distance can change the accuracy of a shot.
Se participates in indoor shooting, which focuses on accuracy of a shot and is mostly for sport. Others participate in outdoor range shooting, which factors in variations of wind speed. Another popular version is hunting, which is something Se chooses not to participate.
“(One person) tried to convince me to hunt. No, I can’t hunt,” Se said.
For him, it’s a moral issue.
Se started archery slowly, but now goes to his local range every Saturday to shoot. When he took a trip to Hong Kong this summer, he was surprised to find a range close to where he was staying.
“I thought I would not be able to (shoot) back in Hong Kong, but I was wrong,” Se said.
Se encourages those curious to give archery a try.
“Try to forget anything. It’s like homework,” Se advises to new archers. “Get a beginner bow (and) it can be under one hundred bucks. It’ll last you forever.”
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