Young Archers Find A Home At Oak Ridge On Monday Nights

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CLARK — As Caitlin Goerlich draws back the string on her bow, determination is written all over her face.

The 17-year-old is now a regular at Monday night archery classes at Union County’s Oak Ridge Park in Clark, where she is working to perfect her aim.

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“My goal is to be better than Lou,” she said, laughing, referring to one of her friends with whom who she has a long-running rivalry.

Goerlich and several other young archers are now the founding members of the Lightning Wheels 4H Archery Club.

While the majority of youngsters in the archery club utilize wheelchairs, all youngsters 4th grade and up are welcome to come and learn the sport, said Ellen Di Iorio, a national 4H Archery Instructor who is on hand every Monday evening to work with the youngsters.

DiIorio said the club can easily handle upwards of 16 youngsters so anyone interested is welcome to stop by and try their hand at the sport.

“We’re here every Monday night, weather permitting,” she said, noting that the program runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Caitlin’s mother, Julia Goerlich, so enjoyed her daughter taking up the sport that she is now an instructor as well.

“I went up to Stokes State Forest to get certified,” she said. “I’d never done it before. It was fabulous.”

DiIorio said that one of the nice things about archery is that it is an “intergenerational” sport.

“Grandpa can teach his granddaughter how to do it and they can then do it together—unlike other sports, like soccer,” she said.

And for youngsters who require utilizing a wheelchair to get around, as long as they have upper body abilities, they can also participate, DiIorio said.

For more information on the Lightning Wheels archery program, contact Union County 4H at 1-908-654-9854. For anyone wishing to see the program in action, Oak Ridge Park is located on Oak Ridge Road in Clark. The archery range is at the western side of the park and is handicapped accessible.

PREPARING TO SHOOT…Caitlin Goerlich, of Union, takes aim at her target at the archery range at Oak Ridge Park in Clark. Caitlin recently joined the Lightning Wheels 4H Archery Club, which meets every Monday evening at the park. While the majority of youngsters in the archery club utilize wheelchairs, all youngsters 4th grade and up are welcome to come and learn the sport. The program runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., weather permitting.

IF IT’S MONDAY NIGHT…then it’s a guarantee that members of the Lightning Wheels 4H Archery Club will be at the archery range at Oak Ridge Park in Clark. While the majority of youngsters in the archery club utilize wheelchairs, all youngsters 4th grade and up are welcome to come and learn the sport. The program runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., weather permitting. Working on their shooting skills one recent evening were Caitlin Goerlich, left, of Union, Lynne Ganley, of Cranford, and Michael Harnett of Bayonne.

TAKING CAREFUL AIM…Lynne Ganley, of Cranford, draws back her bowstring as her mother, Jean DeLuca, helps her. Lynne recently joined the Lightning Wheels 4H Archery Club, which meets every Monday evening at Oak Ridge Park. While the majority of youngsters in the archery club utilize wheelchairs, all youngsters 4th grade and up are welcome to come and learn the sport. The program runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., weather permitting.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT BOW… 4H Archery Instructor Ellen DiIorio helps Lynne Ganley, of Cranford, find the right bow. DiIorio works with the Lightning Wheels 4H Archery Club, which meets every Monday evening at Oak Ridge Park in Clark. While the majority of youngsters in the archery club utilize wheelchairs, all youngsters 4th grade and up are welcome to come and learn the sport. The program runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., weather permitting.


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