Absolutely Alabama: Archery a growing sport in the community

Absolutely Alabama: Archery a growing sport in the community

(WXTX) - If you're a fan of the hit show "The Walking Dead" filmed in Georgia you've undoubtedly noticed the character Daryl's avid use of a crossbow.

It may be no coincidence that archery is growing here in the Valley area, and tonight we meet one man who wants to take it to the next level, and you can bet it's Absolutely Alabama.

If there's an evangelist of archery in this state it's probably Stuart Goldsby.

"My goal is to grow archery as a lifestyle for anyone and everyone in Alabama," Goldsby said. "Bringing archery out in front of everybody because it is a safe, lifestyle activity that anyone can use."

The lifestyle nature of the sport he's talking about is evidenced by John and Cara Fernandez. Father and daughter are champions, but it's about more than winning.

"When she was really little there's two school teachers and we went to a local tournament and they pulled me aside and said, Hey ah we leave our kids at home and I said OK," said John. "I'm OK with that and they said good so next tournament Cara be home and I said, No. I won't be going with you anymore and that's the way it was."

Randy and Robin Green have brought grandson Eli along. They always do.

"He's been shootin' since he was about 3-years-old and we bought him a small bow and he's been shootin' ever since we bought it and he absolutely loves it. He goes with us ever chance he gets and shoots targets with us. He'll shoot all 20 targets."

But it's not just families archery brings together; it can involve the entire community or maybe the entire state.

"The first question ever body says is how does a small community like Cullman able to host something like this? And it is not just Cullman, Alabama it is the state of Alabama. I mean we're bringing people here like I said from all over the world and it's the first time they've been to Alabama so they're not just seeing Cullman they're seeing everything."

"It's very exciting for the community to host something like this. It's very exciting for us to have a community that wants us here. We're currently working with Phenix City for an event next year. We're working with Cullman this year and next year we got a commit with them. We have a new site we're working on for Tuscaloosa so we've kind of identified Alabama as being one a the hot beds if you will for archery."

"We're currently, as an example, working with Auburn University-Montgomery helping them put an archery park there on campus."

And for Stewart Goldsby this is only the beginning.

"One a my first visions was to have it along the Interstates so it could be somewhat like a Robert Trent Jones Trail where it would be an archery trail, Alabama Archery Trail if you want a call it that," Goldsby said. "And we started in Athens and we went to Cullman along I-65. We've been to Heflin and Lincoln along the I-20 Corridor. We went back to Decatur again along the I-65. We have Tuscaloosa now along the I-20/59 Corridor. We also have Dothan, which is on the main trek to the beaches. Lot a folks actually stop by the archery park in Dothan on the way to the beach. We also have Ozark. This next year we're looking at building in Jasper in Walker county with Jasper Park and Rec. We're also looking at building one at Oak Mountain State Park."       

From north to south, east to west there's an archery park near you and an opportunity for you to compete in a sport which is Absolutely Alabama.

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