In Fall 2016, Kelsey Ray, Christine “Nikki” Allen and a number of students who had competed in archery at high school started the Kentucky Wesleyan College Archery Club as a student club. Ray contacted the United States Collegiate Archery Association (USCA) for information on starting a collegiate archery club and was able to obtain a start-up equipment grant for $5,000 in bows, arrows, nets, quivers, etc. In order to receive the equipment through the grant, Ray completed the coaching certification through the USCA over Spring Break 2017. The club ended the academic year with about 22 students who expressed an interest in archery.
Campus administration agreed for the Wesleyan Archery Club to use the HRC gym, and later the Auxiliary Gym, as practice space, with possible future use for competition. Over the summer, with donations from several donors, including alumni, a building was purchased and placed at the HRC to provide secure storage of the equipment, as well as be aesthetically compatible with the campus environment.
The Archery Club members began safety training and practicing in Fall 2018. Its first open practice, was held on Apr. 8. We had two alumni and one staff member join us that day. David Johnson ’91 told us that he had actually taken an archery class and shot in the Auxiliary Gym when he was a student at Wesleyan. The Archery Club is looking forward to hosting its first fundraising tournament in September 2018.
It is exciting to see the enthusiasm about archery at Kentucky Wesleyan from everyone – from students, staff, administration, board members, alumni and the community.