As one of the original Paralympic sports from 1960, Para Archery involves archers standing at a set distance and shooting at a target marked with ten scoring zones. It shares a similar set of rules with Archery in the Olympics, with the exception that Para archers may use assistive equipment and wheelchairs. In the Paralympics, it comprises of individual or team events. Athletes use two types of bows: the recurve (which features limbs that curve away from the archer) and the compound (which uses pulleys).
Athletes with physical impairments who can shoot with permitted assistive devices are eligible to apply to compete or participate. Archery places the athlete’s precision, concentration, and techniques to the test. At the same time, it requires movement and allows for the archer to gain confidence. As such, it is an exceptional form of competitive, recreational and rehabilitative sport. The governing body for Para Archery is World Archery.
The target size and distance between the archer and target board vary across categories. Para archers are group into two sports classes when competing: W1 and Open. W1 archers have severely disabled upper and lower body impairments. They compete in wheelchairs. The open category consists of archers who would previously be classified in W2 and ST classes, as these two categories have been merged together. W2 archers have lower body impairments but good upper body functions. ST archers play seated or standing, with their feet on the ground and with the use of support equipment.
Benefits of Archery
Archers challenge themselves on accuracy, strength and profound concentration that require both physical and perceptual stamina. A test of endurance, archery also requires ample amounts of patience. Where technique and coordination play a crucial role, practice and effort go a long way in achieving success in Archery. Hence, it helps to enhance one’s dedication and perseverance. Archery can also aid in increasing the archer’s self-confidence and teaches one on the importance of safety and responsibility. As such, Archery is a sport that provides all-rounded development and growth to athletes.