Broadview Heights Rec Center to offer archery classes

by Martin McConnell

Starting Feb. 20, children, teenagers, and adults alike can try their hand at the art of the bow and arrow every Monday night at the Broadview Heights Recreation Center.

There, prospective archers will be able to receive instruction from two of Ohio’s best tutors.

Parma Armory Shooting Center’s Rob Schaefer has lived much of his life around the sport of archery, stretching back to when he was a child growing up in New York. Now 86 years old, Schaefer has made it his life’s work to bring archery to the forefront of sporting trends, and to teach amateurs the ways of the bow.

“My mother used to take me on the bus, down to the largest five and ten cent store,

Woolworth’s,” he said. “I would be on my own. I always, inevitably, came back with a little bamboo bow.”

Long after he forgot about the bamboo bows of his childhood, Schaefer was introduced to modern archery by one of his clients who owned a sporting goods store. The rest, he explained, was history.

According to Schaefer, archery has become a growing trend partially due to its accessibility as a sport. Although arrows can be extremely dangerous, he noted that with proper safety, almost anyone can shoot a bow; even children.

“I have participated in many sports, and I have always somehow managed being an instructor of the sport,” Schaefer said.

Fellow instructor John Pfoh, Schaefer said, is perhaps an even better shot than he is. After taking one of Schaefer’s classes, Pfoh has since become a trusted friend and co-pilot of the Broadview Heights archery program.

“John Pfoh was my student three years ago, and now he’s a competitive archer,” Schaefer said. “He’s an amateur, but he goes to all of the archery meets, and he competes in the senior men’s leagues, and he scores quite well.”

As for teachings, Schaefer said there are eleven basic rules of archery. The first four, he says, are iron clad. In order, they are “safety, safety, safety, and fun.”

“A person who has no knowledge, no athleticism, who is sedentary but has decided to try archery,” he said. “In, or around, the 38th minute (of my class), the light will go on in their heads and the bell will go off.”

Those interested can sign up for Schaefer and Pfoh’s classes at ∞

Students line up their shots during one of Rob Schaefer’s new
archery classes for adults, teens and children, which take place
on Monday nights at the Broadview Heights Recreation Center.
Photo submitted.