EATON — Thirteen-year-old Ceridwyn Salyers of Eaton credits recent blockbuster films for her interest in archery — and once she picked up the sport, she developed precise skill and accuracy which is winning competitions.
The young archer dreams of one day taking part in the Olympic games.
“What started my interest in archery is rather shocking reason,” Salyers said. “My father would take me to as many Disney and Pixar movies as he could when I was younger. When the movie ‘Brave’ came out, I thought it would be cool to shoot a bow like that. So I begged my dad to buy me a bow and we went to a place to buy and shoot at their range. From the first couple of arrows downrange, I found out that I had a talent for this. So that’s when things took off from there.”
That was four years ago, when Salyers, who was nine, began archery on a competitive level. The year was 2012, and three movies in particular highlighted the skill of archery. Those movies included The Avengers, Brave, and The Hunger Games. The last two were influential for many young women in the sport of archery.
“I started reading The Hunger Games books, but it was after the first movie. The Avengers was very interesting in how the character Hawkeye was good with a bow despite it being a fictitious movie. A lot of people ask me if I shoot because of The Hunger Games, but it’s no. It’s because of the movie Brave.”
She uses a Hoyt takedown bow with X-7 limbs. She keeps her arrows in an Easton quiver, made by the largest arrow manufacturer in the United States. Her club badges and trinkets are kept on her quiver.
Salyers is involved in the Cincinnati Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD). There are other organizations in the area adults and youth alike may join if they have a serious interest in archery. HisPins Archery is very popular in the area. Tri-County North and Twin Valley South offer junior high archery clubs in the winter.
“I’m surprised that girls were not inspired to be in archery a long time ago,” Salyers said. “It’s a very good sport to try.
“My biggest inspirations are Shawn and Daniel McGlocklin, brothers. They are in my club and tried to get into the Olympics. I actually get to shoot with them sometimes and and hang out. They are very good and I’ve learned a lot from them. But I have to travel far for shooting at my coach’s house, Jim Coom. He’s the best.”
Her father, Toby Salyers is as proud as a father can be. “I was doubtful when she first started, because kids pick things up but they normally don’t follow up,” Toby Salyers said. “But when she kept asking and asking to shoot a bow, I gave her a chance to see how it would go. So we took her to a local archery shop and she took to it like fish in water. In a very short time, she was getting really good.
“I shoot bows myself so I started teaching her what I knew,” Toby Salyers added. “But she was getting beyond my knowledge, so we had her join clubs and coaching tutelage with this.”
“Cincinnati was the only close place to get some serious club assistance so the time and distances are demanding,” Toby Salyers said. She had to go through a 10-week trial period to make it into JOAB. She made it, and we’ve enjoyed success ever since.”
Ceridwyn Salyers has won the FIAA indoor championships. Last year, she was a silver teen medalist in the USA Easton JOAD Nationals, held in Decatur, Alabama. She won every event she entered in Ohio last year, and so far this year.
“In her first year, she shot with compound bows,” said Toby Salyers. “But she was up against Sophia Howard, who was the top compound archer in her age group. So one day, Ceridwyn switched over to recurves just a week before a tournament. She won it, so she’s stuck with recurves ever since. After that fall, she shot with both bows in one day and won the tournament in recurves, while taking third with compound.
“For parents who think it’s too dangerous for their kids to get involved in archery, it’s not nearly as dangerous as many other sports,” Toby Salyer encouraged. “There are lots of safety procedures involved, and nobody ever gets hurt at these events. Just because people are using weapons, doesn’t mean people are unsafe with them. In fact, this is the best way to participate in archery other than in Boy Scouts.
“If a kid has a dream and they are serious about it, a parent should support it, and I’m proud to do so for my daughter.”
Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @osanders_RH