Me and my arrow - Culture - Detroit Metro Times
Eric Tomlinson loves bows and arrows. Has since he was a kid. And for years, Detroiters into archery had to head to the suburbs for target practice, because there was nowhere in the city for them to go.
So he'd shoot at archery clubs in places like Lake Orion or Birmingham, where he'd see parents putting their kids through vigorous lessons, training them like they were trying to earn a spot in the Olympics.
These parents, he soon learned, weren't just trying to create expert marksmen. It turns out there's such a thing as an archery scholarship at several colleges around the country, and those parents were training their kids so they could earn scholarships at those schools.
There's a lot less opportunity for kids in Detroit to go to college, Tomlinson reasoned, than there is out here among better-off families. Those scholarships could really go to use in the city, where hard-working kids sometimes have good grades but not the means to go to a good school. "I said, man, I'm gonna take that to the inner city," the 62-year-old says.
But archery? In terms of street cachet, it ranks somewhere alongside rowing or fencing. Tomlinson would have his work cut out for him getting kids from Detroit interested in something so foreign to urban culture.
"You know, it was a battle, because most of the inner-city kids do not even know what archery is," he says.
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