Hunger Games Fosters Archery Interest Among Women

No joke, it’s not just our friends at Foxtrot that are experiencing this craze. There is a big surge in young archers at clinics, demonstrations, and shooting ranges consequent to the Hunger Games movie splash. Check out Hunger Games Fever Makes Archery Cool for Kids.

NEW YORK – In schools and backyards, for their birthdays and out with their dads, kids are gaga for archery four weeks into the box office run of “The Hunger Games” and less than 100 days before the London Olympics.

“All of a sudden sales of bows have, like, tripled,” said Paul Haines, a salesman at the Ramsey Outdoor store in Paramus, N.J.

A manager there made a sign for the hunting department: “Quality bows for serious archers and girls who saw the movie,” he said.

Archery ranges around the country have enjoyed a steady uptick among kids of both sexes since the movie began cleaning up at the box office March 23, though heroine Katniss – a deadly shot with an arrow – seems to resonate more with girls.

“Katniss is so inspiring,” said Gabby Lee, who asked for archery lessons for her 12th birthday in February after reading the wildly popular book trilogy by Suzanne Collins.

“I’m not very sportsy,” she offers, but now she belongs to a youth archery league near her Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., home. “It feels really good because I’m usually the girl who sits and reads.”

I bought a compound bow for my oldest boy in 2005 and my younger guys have really gotten into this since coming to archery-mad Oklahoma (it turns out to be a Native American thing that Cowboys love, too). And they’ve told me there are a lot more girls out there now that Katniss/JLawr has given them something of a role model. The Archery Stores — yes, OKC has a couple of those — are delighted, of course, if my boys have asked me for t-shirts or buttons saying ‘Shooting before Hunger Games’ or ‘I taught Katniss Everything She Knows.’ Archery enjoys a bit more media attention every Olympic year as do other relatively exotic sports — can you say ‘Modern Pentathlon’? ‘Greco-Roman wrestling’? ‘Synchronized swimming’? — but the film makes 2012 a big, big year.

I wonder if this is the Hunger Games fandom equivalent of Wizard Rock: reader emulation/participation in the story line. If so, I hope that the Secret Service recovers from its current South American scandals and keeps a close watch on those young women in black at Presidential functions. (Hat tip to David for the pre-pub tip about this morning’s Foxtrot strip and to Arabella for the MSNBC piece!)

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