LOCAL ARCHER GIVES BACK TO SPORT BY OPENING NEW ARCHERY SCHOOL
Two weeks ago the Osoyoos Times told the story of a local archer, Brock Paton, who is setting his sights on the world stage once again.
In the same article, it was also mentioned Paton was interested in starting a traditional archery school in Osoyoos. Well, after jumping through a few hoops, Paton is pleased to announce the inception of the non-profit Osoyoos Traditional Archery School.
“To me, this is a payback to the town, because it’s been good to me, and a payback to the youth, because somebody taught me,” said Paton, who recently took home yet another gold medal from a shoot in Trail, B.C.
“I ran an apprenticeship program for culinary arts for years and it used to really tick me off, because I’d go and try to place my students and the chefs would say, ‘no, I don’t take apprentices anymore.’ Well, how the hell do you think you got here? So somebody has to take the time. Somebody has to apprentice.”
That, and the fact the closest place for archers to practice their craft is in Oliver, is what started Paton on this new venture.
The school, which will be run as a non-profit extension of the Osoyoos Wildlife Foundation (O.W.F.), was given the official go-ahead on April 19, said Paton.
A few misunderstandings relating to membership fees and the official status of the school held up the process, but now that all of that has been dealt with, he has been given the green light.
His focus will be on traditional archery, including primitive bow, longbow or recurve.
These are the techniques that will be taught because this is what Paton shoots and obviously what he’s most comfortable with.
When it comes to compound bows, people are more than welcome to come out, but he doesn’t have the knowledge to be able to assist them, he said.
“That’s (compound bows) the Ferraris, we’re the Volkswagens,” said Paton with a laugh. “It costs a lot of money for that compared to the longbow. And I’m not a coach in that field, so I wouldn’t feel comfortable.”
Because the school is going to be run as an extension of the O.W.F., Paton said all members of the archery school will first have to become foundation members.
Memberships to the O.W.F. cost $25 for junior members, $45 for seniors, $50 for adults and $65 for families (plus $6.50 for each additional child).
Once someone is a member of the O.W.F., archery classes will cost $2 a session if you have your own equipment or $5 with equipment rental.
“Now, if you don’t have your own equipment, then you can rent it at five dollars a night, but all of that rental money goes to the purchase of your equipment,” said Paton.
Once a student has rented equipment for long enough and built up enough funds, the money will be used to buy that student their own gear.
The Osoyoos Traditional Archery School will officially open on Thursday, May 10.
At first he will only hold one class a week, but as time goes on he may increase that to two classes a week or open a class on Saturdays aimed at visitors in the area.
He might also consider hosting competitions right here in Osoyoos, but that’s all up in the air and won’t be happening for some time as he wants to build the membership before considering a venture like that.
Six people, both adults and children, have already expressed great interest and enthusiasm in the school, said Paton.
“The one mother’s already ordered two bows and two full sets of equipment,” said Paton smiling.
Anyone interested in joining or learning more information about the Osoyoos Traditional Archery School can contact Paton at 250-495-7878 or 250-495-7663.
Finally, Paton is asking anyone who has archery equipment they’re no longer using or thinking of getting rid of, to please consider donating it to the school.
“Because some of it I might be able to savage for students, but a lot of it will be … a good lesson aid as well,” said Paton.