Freshman Sarina Khemchandani became interested in archery two years ago when Windermere Prep started offering it. She had never tried it before, but she went out to a practice and took to it immediately.
“It’s a unique sport,” Khemchandani said. “It’s something that I’d never seen before, and I thought, I like doing unique things too. I was drawn to it.”
When she competed last year at a national tournament, Khemchandani stayed in first place for most of the day — and ended up winning.
“It was definitely not something I was expecting,” she said. “I was only hoping to have the opportunity to compete.”
Like Khemchandani, many Windermere Prep students have found a new passion in archery since it began being offered three years ago. In the program’s first year, the Windermere Prep team won the states competition.
Both middle- and high-school students are able to participate in the sport, which attracts students who have an interest in developing eye-hand coordination.
For several students, archery is the only sport that has piqued their interest. The sport enables students who have never played another sport to be part of a team.
Junior Adam Magdy wasn’t interested in playing other sports, but archery fascinated him.
“I just love being out on the team,” Magdy said. “Being out here is very freeing. We have this schoolwork; we have all these things we need to do for academics, but being out here on the range — I feel like a captain out here. I feel great. This is the place where I feel free.”
Many Windermere Prep students take rigorous class loads, so archery provides an outlet for them to focus on something outside of the classroom.
Because archery is a budding sport, it provides unique opportunities for students who are currently involved and want to take the sport to the next level.
“There’s also, in the long run, some great opportunities down the road for scholarships,” said Jay Kleinrichert, one of the archery coaches at Windermere Prep. “It’s really good for that (because) it’s a little more of an obscure sport. It’s not your standard football, basketball, soccer — so there’s a lot more unique opportunities when these kids get off to college.”
Contact Jennifer Nesslar at [email protected].