THE popularity of an ancient sport has been given a massive boost thanks to the release of a Hollywood blockbuster.
The Hunger Games, a sci-fi adventure book written by Suzanne Collins, was released as a film in March this year and has attracted critical acclaim as well as a wide-ranging audience
Part of the film’s attraction has been a number of bow and arrow fight scenes.
Chiltern Archers, an archery club in the village of Buckland, near Tring, has seen an increase in the number of people taking up archery lessons following the film’s release.
Club director Gillian Saunders said: “Every time there is a new release film featuring archery, there will be more people, particularly youngsters, coming into our store and booking tester lessons, and waiting to buy equipment.”
Despite this, membership at the club has remained at about 250 people, where it has been for roughly the last five years.
However, not everyone feels as though the recent boost in popularity of the sport can be solely attributed to films involving archery like The Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings or Robin Hood.
Bob Gasking, club secretary of Berkhamsted Bowmen, said the film did not bring in wannabe archers but instead suggested increases in the sport’s popularity has been down to the Olympic Games.
Mr Gasking said: “Actually, we find that post-Olympics is when people begin to ring and email with enquiries.
“Hopefully the same will happen this year and encourage people to try and have a go and, if they like it, have lessons and begin to partake in the sport.”
The big question, however, is not what has caused such an increase in popularity, but whether or not a growing interest in the sport can be maintained and indeed expanded long after the Olympics and the Hunger Games euphoria comes to an end.