From Hopeless to Hopeful: The Story of the Hanover College Archery Club
By Meagan Redmon
I began the Hanover College Archery Club when I was a freshman in 2012. At first, I thought that starting an Archery club would be easy, and that bringing the sport that I loved to a college campus would be a simple process. I soon found out that this was not that case at all. Without the Easton Foundation and the US Collegiate Archery Association’s tremendous support, Hanover College would not have the growing, promising Archery Club that it has today.
Hanover College has what is known as a Student Senate. This Senate consists of a body of students of the college who decide on a number of things to better our campus community; among those decisions are what clubs the college will permit and fund. If you want to start a club at Hanover College, you have to get approved by this Student Senate. I found out the hard way that getting approved is not as simple as asking “pretty please.” Needless to say, I did not like Student Senate at all for quite a while after that, and I was devastated. But I was also determined.
The next time I went to Student Senate, my Constitution was spotless, and my proposal was professional and logical. I made it clear that I had the previous experience and knowledge to run a safe Archery Club that people would love and enjoy. With that, the Student Senate finally passed my proposal: the Hanover College Archery Club was approved.
But it wasn’t all great times and good shooting from there on out. In fact, getting approved by Student Senate soon proved to be the easiest part of my journey. Hanover had no Archery equipment at all, and only a handful of the members of the Archery Club had equipment or any experience at all, and those handful were typically the officers. That, coupled with the fact that we had almost no funding and no support resulted in no progress, nothing, happening in the first year of the Archery Club’s existence. All the Archery Club had was a handful of enthusiastic members and some hopeful officers.
The summer after my Freshman year, I thought long and hard about whether or not I could continue on with the Archery Club. Was it worth it? No one believes in my club or even knows it exists, so why would people join? We don’t have any equipment, so how can I even get people interested enough to join? Where can I go with an Archery Club that has nothing? I was distraught and unsure of myself for quite some time, until finally I started doing some research. That’s when I found out about the US Collegiate Archery Association. The USCA helps people like me who are trying to start an Archery Club on their college campus. So I figured I would give it a shot, and I wrote to them and begged for help.
The first half of my sophomore year, I was determined to get the Archery Club on the map. To me, the USCA represented a glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, someone would help me. So I got all of the members and officers together and told them what my plans were: the USCA apparently had grant opportunities, through the Easton Foundation, which could help fund the Archery Club, and that I had talked to someone within the USCA organization that could help us through the process. But like all things, getting equipment and filling out all the paperwork would take time. Naturally, once people knew that waiting was involved, I lost more members. After all, who wants to wait around to see IF a club will ever even be successful, when it barely even qualifies for a club as it is?
But giving up wasn’t an option. As time progressed, I got the needed information together to fill out the Equipment Grant. Throughout the entire process, I had the help and support of not only the kind, caring people at the US Collegiate Archery Association and the Easton Foundation, but I also had the support of some close friends, family, and my boyfriend, Jacob. Jacob and those other kind people with the USCA and Easton were always willing to listen, to understand the struggle that I was going through trying to get the Archery Club up and going. Idida Briones with the Easton Foundation was one particular person I talked to a great deal. From the beginning when I first wrote to her begging her for help to the moment when she told me that Hanover College Archery Club was granted the Easton Foundation’s Blue Tier Equipment Grant, Ms. Briones showed me that even great corporations like the Easton Foundation care about every archery enthusiast out there, and that they are always willing to help those struggling Archery Clubs in need in any way they can.
After a long process of filling out papers, keeping members hopeful and busy, and a lot of hopes and prayers, I got an email from Ms. Briones with the Easton Foundation that the Archery Club would be receiving the equipment we needed to finally get started. For the first time in over one and a half years, I saw the prospect of my dream coming true. The next thing I knew, the equipment came in, my officers had jobs to do, and we had meetings on Archery safety and technique before hitting the field for practice for the first time. Not only this, but for the first time, I was able to walk into Student Senate with my head held high, and show Student Senate all of the wonderful things that the Easton Foundation had provided us with. This time when I mentioned the Archery Club, I was not met with laughter, but rather with applause. Within a couple of weeks, we had our first practices, and all of the members told me that they had a great time, and that they look forward to joining the club again next year.
Hanover College Archery Club
Now, I am the proud Founder and current President and Coach of the Hanover College Archery Club who is currently working on earning my Coach certificate. I am a USCA member and certified Judge, and I am continuing to work with my fellow officers and members on the continuation and expansion of the Archery Club at Hanover College. This past year was only the beginning for Hanover College’s Archery Club. The Archery Club at Hanover College will continue to strive to ensure that its members always have a safe, fun, exciting environment to come to that will help them learn and improve their Archery skills. The Archery Club began as a one man mission, but has become a success because of the kindness and generosity of the USCA and the Easton Foundation, and because of the support of family, friends, Archery Club members, and the dedicated officers of the Hanover College Archery Club who believed in the Archery Club when no one else did. To Vice President 2012-2014 Katrina Easley, Student Senate Representative 2012-2014 Ben Vogel, Treasurer 2013-2014 Renae Rogers, Secretary 2013-? Cat Brassell, and Equipment Manager 2013-2014 Jacob Morris, THANK YOU for all of your hard work, dedication, and belief in me. The Archery Club wouldn’t be the same without you all. To the US Collegiate Archery Association and the Easton Foundation, thank you for making my dream possible, and for all of your generosity and kindness. Without your grant, the Hanover College Archery Club would not have the promising future that it now does.