When I got home, Fiona had sent me a message to tell me about the same Groupon. I'm not into coupons, online or otherwise, so I was pretty impressed these people had managed to reach me twice in a day.
So, I went to Target Pro Archery to meet Daniel Ng and his flame, Anne Kwok. (They met when she went for archery class as a scout leader!) As a kid, Dan was mad to get a bow in his hand but never got the chance. When he grew up, he was just as keen - and we all know the great thing about being an adult is you get to do what you want, right? He got into classes with Olympic head coach, Joan MacDonald, and he's still so mad for it that he and Anne watch YouTube archery videos at dinner time. I bet it's the only time he can: If you've wondered why the store has funny hours, he's also got a 'regular' job, two kids AND coaches those lessons (in Brampton, all the way across the city and THEN some), too.
If you talk to archers about where to buy equipment, they're strongly opinionated that it's more important the place take care in fitting you with good gear for you than the brands they carry. It can do real damage to your body to get the wrong stuff. As a coach, Dan wanted to open a store where you can be sure they're fitting you right. I can tell you I've already heard folks pledging allegiance to Target Pro because for this reason. It's part of Dan's twofold motivation to staff the shop with noteworthy local archery talent: They know their stuff and he wants them to be faces we know and root for. Top Canadian archers aren't exactly household names and they don't necessarily get the support they should - yet. Dan wants their pictures on his wall and crosses his fingers that someday he can arrange some sponsorship that'll really give archers a boost. Heck, they pretty much pay all their own expenses, barring the best known who have their equipment sponsored. Dan practically bubbles with enthusiasm for supporting promising archers.
When they created that Groupon, Dan and Anne expected 100 or 200 takers. They got an overwhelming 900. Dan inquired to see if another coach wanted to take on some of those but, no big surprise, he was kind of busy himself. Naturally, Dan's gonna honour all those but it's gonna keep him busy for ages. It might put a crimp in his ability to compete for awhile but I can tell he'll be ready to go when he gets the chance.