The University of Toronto Mississauga’s (UTM) Archery Club is a place for students to learn archery in a safe environment whilst meeting other UTM students. “[The club] is open to everyone, as we provide coaching for those who are unfamiliar with the sport,” says Fadlan Arif, a UTM student studying math and statistics.
As president of UTM Archery, Arif oversees the operations of the club and delegates responsibilities to the executives on his team. “What I enjoy most [about the role] is having direct communication with all my [team members to achieve our] vision for the club,” he says. “I also enjoy talking to new people and creating a sense of community, especially as things are finally returning to full capacity.”
The team was able to hold only a limited number of practices and events during the 2021-2022 academic year, which made it difficult to schedule consistent practices. Arif has since found reason to be optimistic about the club’s future.
At the 2022 UTM Student Union Campus Groups Awards Gala, the Archery Club won the Stay Active award. This award goes to a campus club or society that gives students the opportunity to steadily engage in physical activity. Winning the award gave Arif and his team a sense of validation, “like all the hard work [they] have done has been for something.”
Arif attributes the success of the UTM Archery Club to its goal of making archery accessible. “Bringing in students from all skill levels and providing [them with] coaching lowers the barrier of entry to a sport that I feel many are intimidated by.”
“I want [the club] to be a safe space where everyone knows each other, and where students can be themselves while also having a goal in mind,” he says. “And by making practices more casual, students are allowed to make the club whatever they want it to be, from a hangout with friends to a space to focus on refining their archery skills.”
For Arif, perfecting his form is what motivates him to attend every practice. “I’m also a competitive person, so participating in tournaments gives me a sense of joy.”
Much is in store for the UTM Archery Club over the remainder of the school year, including tournaments and the formation of a competitive team that will face archers from the other two U of T campuses in the winter months.
Saturday, October 22 also saw the start of “The Archery Games”—bi-weekly archery competitions where members play against each other for a chance to win prizes. In November, the club’s general members and executives can get to know each other through a social.