A grand opening for the Ponoka & Area Archer’s Club runs on April 3 in the basement of the Ponoka Moose Hall, kicking off at 4:30 p.m.
First up is an official welcome followed by the opening of lanes at 5:30 p.m.
“The grand opening on Monday is just going to be phenomenal,” said Chris Felt, the Club’s founder and president.
For Felt, a passion for archery stretches back to his childhood in Veteran.
“Archery really is a passion for me – it has always been a big part of my life ever since I was probably four or five years old.”
It was also during those years that Felt got involved with an archery club in Veteran.
“It was a very steady thing in my life – the whole archery thing with the discipline, the commitment to do it – it just enthralled me when I was younger, and probably was one of the best things to keep me on the straight and narrow and out of trouble!
“The community that was there was unbelievable,” he added of the Veteran group. “I made life-long friends there. And it’s been 25 years, if not more, since I was in that club.”
As to launching the Ponoka & Area Archer’s Club, Felt emphasized how it does take a community of supporters to spark the vision and bring it all to fruition.
“We have unbelievable board members. Without them, this club just would not have happened.”
The goal is to provide a friendly, non-intimidating atmosphere, he said, adding that Monday nights will feature a range of activities and events, all geared to bolstering archery skills and contributing to a really fun evening.
“It will be pretty exciting,” he said. “And we want it to be very welcoming,” he said. “Once a month, we will also be having a welcoming night for our new members.”
Plans are also taking shape to open the canteen in the Moose Hall for folks to have a bite prior to sessions – an advantage for out-of-town enthusiasts, he added.
Felt explained that there are many benefits to archery, including stress reduction via the sheer focus that it demands.
“A lot of times when you are shooting you aren’t thinking about anything else,” he said.
As to launching the club, it’s something of a dream come true.
“It’s unbelievable – it’s something that I have always had in my mind,” he explained. “We’ve all come together and we’ve put this together,” he added. “Our board members – the heart and soul that they have put into this club – it wouldn’t have happened with just me.”
Rounding out the board are Leah Bennett (vice president), Jennifer Smith (secretary/treasurer), plus Brad Smith, Chuck Bond, and Brandon Bolin who serve as directors.
Meanwhile, Felt, who also owns The Archery Box Inc., said there will be the ability for guests to visit and see if it’s something they would like to explore further.
“I would say come out for an evening, have a bite to eat when the canteen is open, talk to the member, and see what it is all about.”
For more about memberships, check out ponokaareaarchersclub.ca or find them on Facebook at ‘Ponoka & Area Archer’s Club’.