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Sun God Archery Snags Bullseyes

A line of archers stand ready to shoot
SGA prepares to shoot at a SIACC Qualifier Competition at UCLA

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From weightlifting to chess, there are hundreds of organizations students can get involved with at UC San Diego. In this ongoing series we’ll shine a light on a few of them. See who’s in the spotlight this time.

Randy Duong didn’t anticipate 4:30 am competition wake-up calls when he joined Sun God Archery (SGA) during his first year at UC San Diego, but now he recalls them as some of his favorite memories with the organization. SGA is the campus’ social, recreational and competitive archery club that recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. Open to all students as well as staff, faculty and archers from the community, SGA offers competitive and recreational opportunities to dive into the world of archery.  

Duong, a fourth-year chemical engineering major in his third year on the competitive team, laughed as he recounted the adventures he had with SGA during the SoCal Indoor Archery Collegiate Championship held in San Diego last year. 

“We go to a lot of fun competitions,” Duong explained, adding that the team roadtripped to the regional west competition last year in Arizona. “They’re a really great way to meet other college students who also do archery and to shoot in a more formal setting with higher stakes.” 

Group of archers standing in the woods
SGA visits an outdoor range for some off-campus shooting

The Story Behind SGA

SGA was founded in 2013 after a small group of avid archers learned of a defunct archery range on campus and wanted to bring it back to life. Though the club started with barely 30 members and a competitive team of 10, SGA has grown to include more than 130 members with anyone able to join the competitive team if interested. 

SGA is open to anyone, regardless of archery experience. Most members have never touched a bow before stepping onto the range nestled near the baseball fields. Kiichiro Wang, a second-year interdisciplinary computing and the arts major who manages SGA’s external affairs, shared that SGA’s blend of competition and community builds a strong basis for learning. 

“SGA does a really good job striking a balance between the casual and competitive aspects of archery,” he said. “A lot of other schools lean toward the competitive side, but we have a great 50/50 balance that helps you build your skills in a supportive environment.”

Wang got into archery in high school, using a bow he ordered from Amazon to shoot leftover cardboard boxes. When he began attending UC San Diego last year, he grabbed a flier from SGA’s table on Library Walk during his first week on campus The rest, as they say, is history. 

Though he knew archery was a passion, what’s kept him around are the people he’s found.

Group of archers at the beach, smiling
SGA's get-to-know-you bonfire in Fall 2023

“I like being invested in the clubs I join, and SGA surprised me,” Wang acknowledged. “Everyone is really committed and that’s the nature of archery—once you give it a try, it’s easy to stay involved and keep wanting to do better.” 

“I easily vibed with the people,” Duong added. “It was like, ‘Oh, these are my people, and they happen to do archery,’ and I’m so glad I found that.”    

Aiming to Get Involved?

While most of SGA’s workshops and recruitment events occur during fall quarter, SGA plans to table on Library Walk and host some workshops during winter quarter where students can learn the basics of archery and join the organization. The organization periodically organizes social shooting events with other archery clubs around Southern California, usually in the spring quarter. Duong also suggested students join SGA’s Discord server; there, current club members will help new and prospective members get oriented and start shooting. 

“The best thing to do is come on out and give it a try,” Duong stated wryly. “Pop by the archery range—you won’t regret it.”

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