Profile: Shawn Adams

Archery instructor shares why this ancient art is gaining new momentum in 2012.

by Amanda Grinstead

If you’re looking to try something new and fun on the Danforth, archery classes with Shawn Adams are right on the mark! On the Danforth spoke with Adams to learn more about the growing popularity of this sport and how he got his start in the business.

On The Danforth: How did you become involved with archery?
Shawn Adams: I was working at a medieval fair in Michigan. I saw an exhibit for archery and wanted to learn more about it.

OTD: What motivated you to start teaching archery lessons?
SA: Well, being a student and teaching it went hand in hand. I was giving medieval talks at Casa Loma, and they asked me if I could do some archery classes. In 2007, I took a lot of courses and received coaching from a top coach in Ottawa and made archery my life that year. I immersed myself in it.

OTD: Do you think archery is a sport that everyone can enjoy and excel at? Why?
SA: Yes. It is something anyone can excel at. Just about anyone can reach a fairly high level as long as they apply themselves and are determined. There’s something strangely exhilarating about it, and there’s a romantic factor with archery. We all had an ancestor involved with archery at one point or another. We all had an ancestor who probably used a bow. You can’t say the same about a hockey stick or a tennis racket, because those sports weren’t part of our survival.

OTD: What skills do you teach in your classes?
SA: I teach students about body positioning. Just about every reflex we have with archery is wrong. Students walk in and usually focus on the target, and that’s what they care about. But their body positioning is the key factor.

OTD: Where do you host your classes and how many weeks do the programs run for?
SA: I teach classes out of Eastminster United Church (310 Danforth Avenue) and at Casa Loma. I teach weekly sessions on Wednesdays at Eastminster United from 6:30-9:30 pm and the programs are monthly.

OTD: What is the average cost of your classes and workshops?
SA: It is $80 if you have your own equipment and $100 with a bow rental.

OTD: Is there a growing number of people joining archery? Why do you think that is?
SA: Definitely! The media is really pushing archery this year. There are a lot of movies coming out this year with strong archery content; where the main character is an archer. There’s The Hunger Games, the Pixar movie Brave and The Avengers’ character Hawkeye also uses a bow. I’ve already had some people join my classes because of The Hunger Games. They read the novels and it inspired them. So I think movies will be a very powerful factor this year. Interest is also greater because of the Olympics this summer since archery is one of the sports in the Games. Archery is getting a lot of attention in the media.

OTD: What is the best way to contact you with questions and sign up for classes?
SA: I can be reached by email at or through the Facebook page: Shawn’s Archery Instruction Toronto.


  • Jeff Cohen

    Shawn is a brilliant instructor and is truly a breath of fresh air in mentoring and teaching you true skill while keeping the fun in a very technical sport!

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