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ERIE, Pa. – For Archery Encounters LLC in Erie, Pa., archery is for everyone. Tim Case, Archery Encounters owner and USA Archery Level 3-NTS Coach, believes that archery should be accessible, available and affordable to anyone who wishes to attempt it. It is Case’s mission for Archery Encounters to bring together and bond the local community, while also providing people across all demographics with the opportunity to learn.
“This has been a journey over 20 years in the making,” Case said. “I was about 26 or 27 years old when I first picked up archery. I had a rocky start, but I fell in love with the sport. I wanted to learn as much as I could, so I started reading books and trying to put into practice what I learned,” continued Case.
Self-taught in his early archery journey, Case is passionate about ensuring that new archers have the tools they need to have a positive first experience with the sport. Case puts a large emphasis on the importance of bringing new archers to the sport and giving them a reason to keep coming back.
USA Archery’s Explore Archery program helps Case bring in new students by allowing participants to try the sport. The Explore Archery program is for anyone interested in an introduction to the sport. Youth enrolled in an Explore Archery program are offered a 12-month free-trial membership to USA Archery. Case estimates that the USA Archery membership in Erie has doubled since his club opened and began offering Explore Archery classes. He is hopeful that most of those students will maintain their USA Archery membership after the free trial expires.
“[Explore Archery] has given my students something to build towards. I’m able to provide them with an intro into the sport. Once they’re in and interested in doing competitions, they’ll have to continue their USA Archery membership after getting it one year with no cost,” says Case.
Archery Encounters first opened its doors in 2016 and was originally located in one of Erie’s oldest buildings. Since then, they have relocated to the Millcreek Mall Plaza, where they have an indoor range that is capable of 60m shoots. Its location in the mall plaza gives Archery Encounters the unique opportunity to have walk-in clients. They offer group events, like Date Nights, parties and other special events to draw in new members. Case even offers his customers fun activities like blacklight shoots, which are successful at attracting the general public. Once walk-ins are through the door, Explore Archery can be offered as a great option to those serious about learning.
Case’s students include everyone from walk-ins with no experience, to bowhunters, to the elderly looking to incorporate a new hobby into their lives. Erie has a large immigrant community, who are active in his club, and Case estimates that women are the majority of his clientele. His students range in age from youth to seniors. With such a diverse customer base, Case must get creative with his training techniques to keep students interested and engaged in the sport.
“I try to keep things light with my humor. I get called the Archery Geek, and I take that literally. I try to tie archery into other things we enjoy, like Star Wars or video games. I have something called Jedi Training, where I have the student focus on the yellow, pull the full-draw and keep that yellow image in their minds before executing the shot. More often than not, they do pretty well,” Case said of the light-hearted way in which he engages his students.
One big goal for Case, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and is also an Air Force veteran, is to expand into adaptive archery. He hopes to continue growth for his club and USA Archery by making archery more available to anyone who wants to participate. “Archery knows no barriers. Male, female, economic disparities, and more. There are no barriers in the sport of archery,” said Case.
To learn more about Archery Encounters, visit their website.< Back to All News