By Marissa Willman
Archery might be getting a lot of buzz these days with the popularity of “The Hunger Games,” but the owners and instructors at Robin Hood Archery in Indio have been taking the sport seriously for decades.
As an exporter of mostly American-made archery equipment to Latin America and Asia for the last 20 years, Robin Hood Archery’s success led to owner Natividad Jaime being named “exporter of the year” by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s local office.
Jaime’s daughter, manager and head instructor Josahan Jaime-Santacruz, said the business exports about $500,000 annually.
“We’ve been very fortunate to expand our markets,” Jaime-Santacruz said. “Our business has almost doubled in the last six years.”
Jaime will be recognized at an awards ceremony in June but it is far from the company’s first recognition in the world of archery. Jaime and his family have a long history as accomplished competitive archers, winning titles in Mexico, competing in global tournaments and guest speaking at seminars around the world.
The staff at Robin Hood Archery continues to compete in tournaments. Jaime’s son, Hafid Jaime, is in Turkey this week competing in the second stage of the Archery World Cup and Jaime’s wife, Carmen, competed in a tournament in Colombia last month.
Aside from exporting archery equipment, Robin Hood Archery is also a range facility where beginner and experienced archers can practice shooting. This month, Robin Hood Archery’s Junior Olympic Archery Development program kicks off and will run through the end of the year. Through the biweekly program, Robin Hood Archery is able to offer children one-on-one coaching that will prepare them for future tournaments.
Recently, Robin Hood Archery also entered into a partnership that will offer its archery classes through Desert Recreation District programs. Jaime-Santacruz said that by offering something different in an air-conditioned facility, Robin Hood Archery hopes to draw local interest.
Beginner archers can attend one of Robin Hood Archery’s Saturday shoots, a one-hour group lesson that teaches the basics of archery in a small group setting. The class is $5 in advance or $7 at the door. Currently, Robin Hood Archery is running a promotion for a free Saturday shoot session when you bring in a “Hunger Games” movie ticket. Jaime-Santacruz recommends preregistering for Saturday shoots to ensure a spot.
“[Saturday shoots] have been booked for the past few weeks,” Jaime-Santacruz said.
Robin Hood Archery also offers private lessons for $30 per hour. On Thursdays, archers can take part in Hot Shot Night, a tournament with a $5 buy-in where the winner takes home half of the pot.
Robin Hood Archery welcomes archers of all experience levels, even those who have never held a bow before.
“We welcome anybody who comes in,” Jaime-Santacruz said. “When they come in, we do our best to make them feel excited about the sport.”
Reservations can be made at (760) 347-8828.