• Stuart Benson

Let loose some arrows

Devorah Sugarman and her middle child Elijah Olszynko, 11, posing in front of a 3D target at a competition on a Archers de la Vallee property.

By Stuart Benson

For Hills residents looking to relieve some stress and get some exercise outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic, Wakefield resident Devorah Sugarman suggests archery lessons as the “perfect social distance activity.”

Sugarman said she had always wanted to try archery, but only took it up in 2015 after visiting a friend’s house and noticing a bow on their table.

“I asked her why she had it and she told me it was her brother’s,” Sugarman said. “So I batted my eyes and convinced her brother to show me how to shoot.”

Sugarman said she was immediately addicted.

“Just from the sound when the arrow is being released I got goosebumps,” Sugarman explained. “I started competing for fun in my first year and I always place in at least the top three, with the exception of one fourth-place finish.”

Sugarman said she shoots a 29-pound [13.1 kg] recurve bow, and competes with carbon arrows rather than wooden arrows; archers who use the latter receive the “traditional ancient” classification.

Sugarman is hoping to share her archery skills and knowledge by offering individual lessons or in small groups, as long as they are part of the same family bubble, she said in response to safety requirements due to the pandemic.

“There’s a keen interest,” Sugarman explained. “It’s a great activity for these times, just set up the targets and you can do it in your backyard.”

Sugarman is offering four lessons for $100 dollars, plus a $45 deposit for three arrows, which is refunded after the lessons if none of the arrows are lost or broken.

“Loosing arrows was the only thing holding me back from offering lessons,” Sugarman explained. “I could teach one person, charge $25 for one lesson and be down $50 just in broken arrows.”

However, Sugarman said she has a “pretty good” record with students returning their arrows successfully, having only lost two in the past two years.

Sugarman also provides multiple ‘draw-weighted’ bows – the amount of pressure required to pull back the bow-string – including a 12-pound bow for children, a 24-pound bow, and a 29-pound bow; the latter is the same one Sugarman competes with. She also offers a 40-pound bow, which she uses for hunting.

Sugarman has filled up all of the spots she has available for lessons at the moment and currently has a waitlist, but if you are still interested in lessons, you can contact her through Facebook or send her a text at 819-210-1111. If you’re interested in competing, Sugarman suggests pro3d.ca or archers-vallee.com.

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