Brevard Archers aim for future growth
Nine-year-old Beau Palumbo was among 30 archers who participated in competitions Dec. 14. He placed first in the Cub division.
Shoot straight and have fun — it’s a common greeting among Brevard Archers.
Hailing from a wide variety of backgrounds, ages and experiences — the members of Brevard Archers Inc. all find common ground in a passion for archery and a dedication to promote and foster the sport they love.
“We’re the only club in Brevard County, but there are about 50 clubs in the state,” said Richard Finley, the president of Brevard Archers.
Along with the camaraderie and fun is the intense competition that was evident Dec. 14 when the group gathered for a 3D shoot as they do on the second Saturday of each month.
Alan Wood, competing in the freestyle category, stared intently on the target as his bowstring pressed gently against the tip of his nose just before his arrow hit the target.
The competition — which was delayed for about 30 minutes because of heavy rain — included men, women and children as young as 5 years old. Shortly after the 9:30 a.m. start, the competition went on under bright blue skies and sunny weather.
“We postponed it for half an hour and it turned out to be a beautiful day,” Finley said.
Nine-year-old Beau Palumbo has been shooting arrows for two years and relishes the competition.
He steadily pulled back the bow string, the nock point touching his cheek seconds before releasing an arrow to the target in a wooded area reserved for archers in Wickham Park.
He was among 29 shooters competing on 15 targets.
Originally known as the Palm Bay Archers, the group started in 1981. Back then, it had just six archers who would gather at each other’s homes to shoot and talk.
But as membership grew, the club outgrew the backyards and soon established itself at the Wickham Park Archery Range in Melbourne.
Today, the club is flourishing with more than 200 members and an active Facebook group of 420.
Each month, the Brevard Archers conduct an array of archery competitions. The competition includes 3D, target and field archery.
In field archery, the competition typically occurs in a wooded setting with targets of varying size spanning three rounds; the field round, the hunter round and the animal round, where the target is a paper/cardboard animal.
Steven Rasbach, 72, of Melbourne, recently competed in the November Animal Round and said he “had a blast.”
“The club works very well to make the contests all-inclusive of archers’ equipment and age levels,” Rasbach said. “Everyone can learn, have fun and support our club. I got to meet a lot of new archers, saw new techniques, laughed a lot. Try it one time, you’ll come back.”
According to World Archery, the international governing body for the sport, archery can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of age or ability. They also say the health benefits are numerous, including a strong core, back and shoulders.
It’s also a good place to meet new friends and the club is always looking for new members — both experienced archers and beginners.
Members receive access to locked target lanes, a parking gate code, enhanced access to the club’s website and reduced entry fees for events.
Single, family and youth memberships are available and range from $50 to $75 a year. A youth membership (younger than 18) is $30 a year.
Archery lessons taught by USA Archery certified instructors are available for beginners, ages 8 through adult, for $8 a session. It includes equipment.
“If you’re not hyped after that, I don’t know,” Finley said.
For more information about Brevard Archers Inc., go to brevardarchers.com.