Brunei’s archery on target

Fadhil Yunus

In the past, archery was part of the skills used in hunting or fighting. Today, it is practised for competitions and demonstrations.

Target archery is the most popular among enthusiasts around the world.

An archery competition typically involves shooting an arrow for accuracy at an allocated distance.

Another highly popular form of archery in Europe and America is field archery, which involves shooting at targets of varying and often unmarked distance typically in a forest setting.

In Brunei Darussalam, one of the first traditional archery clubs formed was Ar-Rafi Archery Brunei.

It was established on September 8, 2017 with the cooperation of Malaysian archer Al Badar.

Archers practising at a recreational shooting range

According to Manager Pengiran Haji Radno bin Pengiran Haji Mohd Tahir, the club has participated in competitions both at regional and international level with archers from the United States, Australia, Turkey, China, Hungary, Korea, Turkey, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Mongolia, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.

At least 10 archers from the club represented the country to augment a diverse field of competitors.

The club was also invited to take part in the World of Traditional Archery event for the first time in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia on August 2017.

Earlier this year, three of their archery coaches departed for Istanbul, Turkey to attend a week-long coaching course on traditional Turkish archery with the archery foundation, Ockular Vakfil.

Another local club that has bolstered the growth of archery and advocated its global progress is Setia Bersatu Archery Club.

Club member Mohammad Rosman bin Roslin said the club was formed to increase the number of national sports through archery activities.

Established since 2016, the club has more than 100 members as of July 2020 while actively following matches in Kota Kinabalu and Bintulu, even as far as China.

Apart from conducting training often held at the Peak Performance Sdn Bhd, pre-pandemic times also saw the club being active in holding mini tournaments.

Matches such as the Brunei Darussalam Archery Association Cup Archery Competition (BDAA Trophy) was participated last year.

“We have received an encouraging response from people interested in archery including modern (recurve and compound bows) and traditional categories,” said Mohammad Rosman.

“The difference is that traditional archery is static, dynamic and prioritising instinct, while modern archery is only static and uses aid for accurate hits,” he explained.

For two to three months the pandemic has prevented the club from training, but they have since resumed activities once the de-escalation plan was announced.

With the help of social media to launch promotions and activities like mini competitions, the club strives to ensure archery continues to thrive in the country.