TO assist with reducing the spread of covid19, South Arrows Archery Club head coach Sherwin Francis is hosting online training sessions for his team members to ensure they remain active.
The club has locations in Point Fortin, Iere Village and Palmiste. Francis told Newsday the decision was made at a committee meeting last week.
“We decided, as a club, our position is that we’re not going to have our regular club sessions because at our sessions, we have between 15 to 20-something people shooting at the same time, and some archers sharing bows and things like that.
“One method we could have used was sanitising the bow every time but that is a headache.”
While they may not be shooting any arrows, they engage in Specific Physical Training (SPT) via the online video-chatting platform Zoom.
This is a special type of training practised by archers to improve endurance, strength and flexibility.
“It is a good opportunity to try to enforce it (SPT) and encourage them to do more of it, not only with me but on their own.
“There are different types. One in particular that we use is reversals where you draw (the bow) and hold for a specific period of time and rest for double the time.”
He said these sessions may last between 30 minutes to an hour, which would usually be equivalent to shooting over 100 arrows.
“Even though we may not be shooting the bow, we can help build up the strength.
“It’s a bit tedious. But when we do it as a group, they tend to be more encouraged to do it together.”
Some club members do not own equipment and usually rely on sharing with others or using some that would be provided at the physical training sessions.
But as for the online sessions, Francis said, “You don’t need to have a bow. So even if you have a rubber band, a stretch band you can use that. Some people have been using a broomstick and a stretch band. I try to keep it simple as well so they have things at home they can follow around.”
He said the feedback from the members has been positive and that they “loved it.”
Club member and former San Fernando mayor Gerard Ferreira told Newsday he thinks the decision to host online classes was a great one
“It keeps us occupied and keeps us looking forward to something to do while we are all trying to contain ourselves by not trying to mingle too much, and at the same time, keep on top of our sport.
“It creates the little camaraderie that we miss when we’re together, so I think it all goes towards teamwork and excellence.
He commended Francis’ coaching as “excellence in sport.”
Josiah Ramchandar said, “While the covid19 virus has impacted us negatively, we are making the best of it by doing workouts that are keeping us active. All in all, the workouts are proven to be beneficial and fun.”
Darnell Garcia agreed, saying the sessions are “well-done.”
“I think that this would be, not only really helpful during this pandemic throughout the world, but also after this entire situation is settled. This can be a very good alternative.
“Overall, I think this would be a great decision for any club to have.”
Francis said the fields are still available for those who wish to train individually, but they must be supervised by an adult or a coach.
“Some people live in Point Fortin, San Fernando, Princes Town. They’re all over the country, so using the online platform is really a benefit to us.
“People are finding innovative ways to think outside of the box. We’re thinking out the box to connect everybody.”
The club recently participated in the National Senior Indoor Archery Championships in February, copping a total of six medals. Francis took the Recurve Master Men title and the team also secured three silver and two bronze medals.