26 Dec 2014 -1 Jan 2015 #738

Bringing back archery

The Best Archery is the first of its kind indoor archery shooting range in Nepal
Elvin L Shrestha

Katniss Everdeen, the heroine of the super successful The Hunger Games series, may have made many pick up their bows and arrows in the west, but in Nepal the sport still lags behind in popularity.

Hoping to change this is entrepreneur Navin Basnyet whose latest venture, The Best Archery, is the first of its kind indoor archery shooting range in Nepal.

“Although our primary goal is to attract amateurs to take up archery as a recreational activity, we also want to promote archery as a sport in Nepal,” says Basnyet.

The shooting range in Jhamsikhel is a standard 18m indoor facility. Opened last month, the place has been getting a fair number of aspiring bowmen.

Professional archer Ongyal Gurung (pic) who has represented Nepal in several international competitions and now conducts classes at the range says: “This is an excellent startup because there is a shortage of shooting ranges in Kathmandu.”

Gurung himself practiced shooting arrows at dumping sites near Chobhar.

Archery has long been part of culture of people from the mountain communities but modern archery has yet to take off. Gurung wants to bridge the gap between the two by bringing archers from Manang to Kathmandu to train and practice at the range.

“When I took a few classes in rural areas, I noticed that some people were holding their bows horizontally instead of vertically. They have the skills but lack knowledge,” says Gurung who would like to see more Nepali archers at international stages.

The Best Archery welcomes all interested to play. “Archery has no height, age or gender barriers and I believe anyone will enjoy it within minutes of practicing,” says Basnyet, who is also learning the sport along with his clients.

The Best Archery aims to encourage untrained enthusiasts to play professionally, and novices to try it at least once. “Our facility is for both professionals and amateurs,” says Basnyet.

The National Archery Championship set to be held in Pokhara next week is expected to select a team to send to the Asia Cup 2015 starting 12 January in Delhi. Basnyet plans to hold mini-tournaments at his facility and also assemble a team of archers to compete in the national championship. He also runs the popular Mahalaxmisthan futsal centre in Lalitpur.

He says: “I hope that the range can contribute to the sport nationally by producing archers who can bring home medals from international competitions.”


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Read also:

Straight as an arrow, Alok Tumbahangphey

Yartung, Rajan Kathet

Pokhara as a sports hub, Ramesh Poudel

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