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Archery enthusiasm grows with 'Hunger Games' hype

March 28, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association says equipment sales are up and archery clubs are thriving. Many attribute the popularity to the book and movie "The Hunger Games." Many people are loving life on the range.

Scenes from the new film "The Hunger Games" are providing inspiration for many to pick up their own bow.

"Particularly over the last six months or so," said Gary Spiers, president of the Pasadena Roving Archers. "Some of the people attending the range are expressing interest based on the movies."

Spiers says there's been a steady growth of kids of all ages since 2008, when the first "Hunger Games" book in the series was released, although "Katniss Everdeen" isn't the only archer to inspire.

"I got started reading books and the Percy Jackson series and I always really liked the Greek goddess Artemis, so I decided to try it," said Altadena resident Shelby Ottengheime.

Spiers says the first "Robin Hood" movie was filmed at the Arroyo Recreation Center, and "Avatar" actors took lessons there.

Archery coach Anna Maltese finds it empowering.

"I think it's awesome for women. It is wonderful. Anytime you see women doing really strong, independent, fun sports like this, it's wonderful," said Maltese.

But guys like it too.

"When I draw back, when everything lines up just right, it's actually a mild adrenaline rush," said Los Feliz resident Joe Savick. "You can actually feel it just, you know, when you have everything perfect and you let the arrow go, it's a wonderful feeling."

Upper back muscles are key for drawing the bow, but you will feel it in your shoulders.

"Your stance is just open and mighty and your posture improves and your outlook improves on life," said Maltese.

But for Spiers's club, archery fever has negative effects as well.

"This past Saturday somebody broke into our storage area and took a significant quantity of our equipment," said Spiers.

However, donations have helped them recover.

It might not be as exciting as a movie or a videogame, but the price is right: On Saturday the first class is free, and a six-week session is about $10 a class.

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