Jordan’s long journey to lay foundations for archery

Second archery tournament in Jordan’s history in October 2022.

Jordan appeared on the map of World Archery in 2019.

With only one club and just a couple of athletes having their own bows, the nation needs to fight its way to develop archery. But first, to revise the law and establish a federation.

An archery passionate, Kareem Budeiri has worked diligently over the past four years to reach an agreement with ministries to counter the ban on the import of bows and arrows into the country. That would give archery a strongly desired impetus.

“It started in 2018, and it’s not a typical story,“ he said, before flying to Korea to join a training programme.

After learning archery in Canada and falling in love with the sport, he submitted a constitution to World Archery, and it took just one year for the country to become a temporary member, in 2019.

Another process started then, with Budeiri preparing and collecting all necessary documents, visiting ministries and contacting the National Olympic Committee. 

“In 2019, we got six bows gifted to us by the Bangladesh archery federation,“ he explained. “I went back and forth to governmental ministries, but nothing really happened.“

The effort partially paid off, however, as the clubs got permission to buy bows and arrows in June 2020. (Though individual archers were not eligible.)

The first steps were made, but still, many more were necessary.

Jordan’s second archery tournament 2022 was held on a tennis.

Once the law changed, Budeiri tried to found an independent federation. The Jordan Olympic Committee has federations under its establishment, but it takes at least three clubs to reach that status.

As archery had not enough, the sport was put under the national shooting federation and a technical committee was created.

Budeiri and people willing to develop archery in the country acquired a field to practice, a tennis court in a local club, but it is not perfect, as the distance shot is less than 30 metres. 

“It’s a lot of back and forth, it takes a lot of time and energy,“ Kareem said. “People don’t know the sport. They never tried archery.“

Since 2020, the committee managed to get around 4500 people to try archery, but just a few can practice. Only ten people, who bought their own bows from abroad, are able to regularly train and compete.

Jordan has now two athletes classified in the Sanlida World Archery Rankings, with recurve woman Diana Aldaoud (202nd) and recurve man Hamza Al-Ma’ani (332nd).

The country organised its second tournament in October – after a first edition in 2021 – with 30 participants in six categories.

“I think it has big potential,“ Kareem concluded. “However, the infrastructure is needed, as well as more people knowing the scoring system and athletes with their own equipment. And we need the law set to move forward.“

And archery is still making headway in Jordan.

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