My name is Alifia. I’m an Indonesian compound shooter and archery is my huge passion!
When I officially started practicing around 2 years ago, archery was not a popular sport in Indonesia. Before I finally came to the club, I practiced regularly with a PVC bow and wasn’t really practicing because of difficulties to afford equipment, solid range and meet the coach regularly.
For someone who wanted to move from the beginning, it wasn’t easy. In Semarang City where I live, we had no public club, clubs were only provided in a university which has good-developed in sport, and an athlete training centre. So that I was very excited when SAS (Semarang Archery School) was finally opened for public on November 2015.
In the club, I began shooting with a standard-bow. It’s basically a recurve bow but with wooden riser, and a kind of bow which is also competed in Indonesia, for particular range of ages. My very first competition was a local tournament on December 2015. I won 1st place for the team division. And on my second competition, we went to a national open called Indonesia Memanah, a good thing that I got the 15th rank because I was only properly trained for a month.
These competitions made me absolutely enthusiastic to archery. Apparently, after several months of being an athlete in SAS, I got bored and unmotivated, because I used to shoot a bow which I thought wasn’t cool, also it was – definitely – difficult to have some good results. I tried to motivate myself every time, and figured out if archery is actually my passion or not. I also reminded myself, that being an athlete is not easy.
I kept practicing, competing, losing, winning, unmotivated, and got animated again to shoot. It was such a cycle.
Then, I got my first compound bow on March 2017, a Hoyt Ignite – after my coach recommended me to be a compound shooter. Thenceforth, I began shooting compound permanently. I loved shooting compound bow so much, this new chapter of my archery life encouraged me to do more practice. I left my old bow, and the last competition I won with the bow was a province open also on March, where I won the 2nd place.
May 2017, I competed in compound division for the first time. I didn’t win. There were still a lot of errors in my technique. What I still remember was how I didn’t memorize the correct position of my anchorage, and maintain my left hand pushing the grip after releasing. The girls who shot next to me were experienced athletes who practiced in the training centre I mentioned. It didn’t make me feel shy or unconfident. I felt super lucky instead, to shoot between these great athletes, because they inspired me and strengthen my passion to always practice.
I’ve got one month gap without practicing in the fast-month, when the Muslims were fasting for one whole month. I couldn’t manage time to shoot. That was not a big deal, though, except that when I started again, shooting a 41 lbs became hard again. Anyway, it became easier after 3 days. It didn’t take too much time to get my technique back.
The moment after the big gap of no-practice was turning into a great time of my life. I didn`t know why, but it was the first time that I finally convinced myself if archery is my passion, and that it’s a part of my life. Unlike in the previous months, now I feel like I can never dislike archery anymore, no matter how my results are. Awesome supportive parents, fun times with friends in club, valuable times and advice from my coaches – and of course; God blessings – help me improving my results. I always enjoy shooting moments, and even when I’m online what I look for has always been archery. As a writer, I also started writing an archery-themed novella. I like to watch fan streaming Youtube videos, being updated to archery-themed accounts, also make new friends with some archers around the world that we shared experience each other. In my club, there’s one guy who also has the same big passion of shooting, for most of our friends are still considered new and it’s reasonable if they`re not really into this sport yet. So it’s kinda fun for us to talk about the latest cool archery product released or newest info about world archers, some talks about the world competition results. Yes, I never thought archery would be a big part of me!
With this new kind of passion, evidently, my scores raised drastically. A few days without archery can make me want to shoot so bad. Coincidentally, in these months, there are way more competitions I can join. The latest shoot that Iwon was a local tournament in Semarang, and a selection which sent me to the next stage in province tournament next month.
The important thing that I just understood was, time and process never lied. No one can be a great archer instantly. Sometimes we have to be patient, updating the techniques, accepting advice, and keep making progress.
Being an archer makes me feeling lucky.
Thanks to Allah for making me an archer!