Featured Team – Community Hope School

Featured Archer - Wanda Newsom

Photo by: Hilma Kambonde

 

Values – What are the core values or missions of this team? Our core mission is to unlock each student’s potential, and build their character in a positive way, one arrow at a time and to transform a community through sport and uplift the young in a positive way.

 

Success – How is archery success defined by the team? Community Hope School Archery Team is the only team in the Namibian NASP® that is a charity organization. We train kids from low income families, disadvantaged backgrounds, and those from the most difficult circumstances. We are a new team, only operating for the past two and a half years. Last year, we managed to produce one archer in the National Top 32 to represent the country in the Development team at the All-Star African Championship.

 

This year, we managed to place four of our archers in the Top 32 that went to represent the country at the All-Star African Championship in South Africa. Two of those archers are in the National A-Team (the All-Star Team) and the other two are on the B-Team (the Development Team). This was celebrated throughout our whole community. We were one of three teams in the country to produce archers for the National Team. The two A-Team archers were supposed to be part of the National Top 16 that went to represent the Namibia at the All-Star Championship in Calgary, Canada this year, but due to lack of funds, we were unable to go. It was a huge setback, but with our positive attitude and support from the community, we have continued working for better ranking.

 

Challenges – What has been one of the biggest challenges the team has faced? We are a charity organization. We depend on gifts and donations. One of the biggest setbacks we have is lack of funds. To have a good ranking, one needs to participate in all the ranking competitions throughout the year. Most of these competitions are quite a distance from Windhoek, and if the team doesn’t attend, their ranking drops.

 

Another challenge is equipment. As a small organization from a poor community, our archers share the bows and arrows. The same equipment we train with is the same we use for competition. As the number of archers grows, fewer are able to practice, as five archers are using one bow and set of arrows. But the most heartbreaking challenge is that the archers work very hard throughout the year and be on top, but are still not able to go further due to lack of funds.

 

Rewards – What has been one of the most rewarding experiences? The most rewarding experience is how the families and community give support and get involved. We are not recognized yet in the country, but we know we are not the “nothing” others think we are.

 

The most rewarding thing is to hear a parent say, “Because of archery, my child is better.” There are many beautiful stories from homes and school about how archery has changed the lives of the archers, but nothing compares to hearing an archer say, “Archery has saved my life.”

 

Three Words – If asked to describe archery in three words, what would the team say? Fun, Successful, Productive.

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