By REDintern Khairulnizam and Tay Jun Wen/Red Sports
Punggol South Archery Centre, Saturday, March 2 2013 — “Well, to be honest, it was an accident,” said Hanim Nazirah Salim, 15, smiling sheepishly, when recalling how she got into archery.
“My dad did not want me to be wasting my time during my holidays. He wanted me to do something productive. While he was browsing through the internet he found out about Archery Alliance. So here we are!” added Hanim Nazirah.
A journey that began in December 2011 when she picked up the sport has now seen Hanim Nazirah pick up a Division A recurve bronze at the Singapore Indoor Archery Youth Cup in December 2012. Earlier in the year, she also won three medals at the Sembawang YEC Archery Open.
“It gives you motivation through confidence and makes you more focused not only in studying, but in other aspects of life as well,” said Hanim Nazirah, who transferred out from a Madrasah, an Islamic religious school, to Serangoon Garden Secondary so that she could pursue the sport.
While taking the basic and intermediate archery courses in December 2011, Hanim Nazirah slowly discovered her love for the sport. She officially joined Archery Alliance on Jan. 1 2012.
“The basic course teaches the individual the proper method of carrying out the sport and foundation knowledge such as the proper names of parts of the arrows and bow. Basically we’re learning about the theory of the sport. The intermediate course teaches the individual about the scoring system. After which the coaches will assess you and if they think you’re ready, you’ll be able to join the club.”
“At first, I had no interest, but I decided to just attend and give it a chance. After the basic course, I started to find it fun and my interest started to develop. Then’s when I decided to pursue my passion for archery further.”
She has not looked back since.
“My parents fully supported me, after the wins especially!” she cheekily added.
Her father, Salim Bin Yaacob, used to be a hobbyist who pursued archery for recreational purposes.
“I did not mind her decision to transfer over (to Serangoon Garden Secondary). In fact I am happy that she picked the sport up. Her perception towards daily life has also changed and I find her more focused. I also don’t mind spending money on archery, as I feel it is an investment and will be beneficial in the long run,” said Salim.
Hanim Nazirah trains up to three times a week, if not more, depending on her schedule. She can be found at the range twice on weekdays after school and on every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Hanim Nazirah has set her eyes on a big goal.
“I’m aiming for the next SEA Games in 2015!”
Simon Ho, the managing partner of Archery Alliance and ex-honorary secretary of the Archery Association of Singapore, also spoke of his ambitions he hopes Hanim Nazirah can achieve.
“She has improved tremendously in a such a short period of time. Within only a year she has managed to join the Youth Club for Archery. Hopefully, within the next few years, I can form an elite team to represent our club, with Hanim Nazirah anchoring it. Who knows, even making it as far as joining the national team too.”
The best age to start picking up the sport is from 6 to 7 years old, said Ho. Those who join need not have background knowledge or experience in the sport.
“Archery gives you motivation through confidence and makes you focused in other aspects of life as well. It challenges yourself and encourages you to set and achieve your own targets,” said the ex-honorary secretary of the Archery Association of Singapore (AAS).
For a list of archery courses offered by clubs affiliated with AAS, go to: AAS official website
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