Bulls-eye: 'Hunger Games' inspires archery craze in North Texas



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Posted on May 1, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 1 at 6:44 PM

DALLAS — Archery is the new craze in North Texas school, thanks in no small part to its featured role in "The Hunger Games" books and movie.

"It's actually a sport I really like," said student Anairis Alvarez at the Irma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School in Dallas. "I'm not a big fan of sports, but this is really cool. It gives you an adrenaline rush, like, 'Oh, this is really cool!'"

Anairis isn't your typical athlete, but then again this isn't your typical sport.

Archery, they say, is for everybody.

"Any size person can do it. You can have all different strength levels, and you don't have to be an athletically-inclined person," said physical education instructor Melissa Russell.

Ninety-two percent of students at Rangel want this class to be part of their school day. Russell attributes that, in part to archery's role in building self-confidence through the ability to achieve rapid success.

"When you have a sport like that where you can immediately feel like, 'Wow, I'm good at this,' it encourages them to move on,” Russell said.

"You have to be really accurate with it." Anairis added. "You have to be, 'OK, I'm going to shoot it.' It hits the target, it's really cool!"

"It teaches incredible life skills, such as respect, discipline," Russell said. "These girls are handling deadly weapons."

The young women admit that allure adds to the power of the play, and the desire for more.

"It's snowballing quickly," Russell said. "I was shocked."

The Dallas Ecological Foundation said they had 20 schools with archery classes in 2008; today that number is at 130 and climbing.

E-mail sslater@wfaa.com