Contributed by Tina Relampagos
It all started with a simple idea: We want even more people to get to know about Gifted by gathering new friends from the online community on a relaxing Saturday afternoon. But we didn’t just want to sit around and talking about the brand without letting them experience what it’s like to receive a gift from Gifted. This year, we shared the gift of experience through archery by Benel Archery with none other than the country’s 5-time National Champion, Coach Earl Benjamin Yap.
November 12 started out pretty hectic with Holiday rush well underway, erratic weather and terrible, unpredictable traffic. But you forget all that as soon as you walk up to Benel Archery’s newly renovated and well-lit indoor range. It boasts of Coach Earl Benjamin Yap’s many medals, trophies and achievements and the walls are adorned with high-end bows and safety reminders. All giving you the peace of mind that you are in good hands even as a first time archer.
We welcomed our guests with an intimate conversation about Gifted and how giving a gift from our brand partners is giving the gift of experience, may that be the experience of gathering over good food, getting into a new hobby, learning a new sport, building a home and rewarding yourself through relaxation, travel, shopping. Ultimately, it is about giving the experience of choosing the gift that they will truly appreciate through gift certificates online for over 100 well-loved local and international brands that friends and loved ones can receive conveniently in their emails or delivery addresses. What we especially liked to emphasize is that each gift is as thoughtful as the act of giving it because it comes with a personalized greeting card and recommended gift item.
We don’t only talk the talk, we walk the walk. So our guests are off to learning archery for the first time in their lives! True to Benel Archery’s principles, each of our guests were treated to an individualized approach to coaching and it was definitely effective because they were shooting targets like pros not long after. Well, maybe not really like pros but it looked like pros to amateurs like us. Benel Archery’s one-on-one coaching style helped each of them learn the basics and improve each shot. They got so confident that Coach Earl Benjamin Yap put them up for a contest.
In those few hours learning about archery, it was clear that archery was more than just bows, arrows and shooting targets. The sport, just like other sports, teaches more than just the skills needed to perform it. What’s nice about the uniqueness of experiencing archery for the first time was that you can already tell its lessons in life the more you practice it.
#1 Learning how to Focus better
Archery is about mental fitness as much as physical fitness and focus plays a big role. The sport teaches you how to focus on your target better and to keep your attention on the goal despite many distractions externally and even internally in your minds.
#2 Finding better Balance and Coordination
Drawing a bow requires a certain amount of physical strength to find your proper balance. Staying on target and releasing the arrow to hit that target requires stability in your body and stance. All these, according to RealBuzz.com help improve posture, hand-eye coordination and of course, chances of hitting the target.
#3 Learning to be Patient
Patience is vital in archery. You can’t simply get your equipment ready and start shooting the target. Like I said, you need to find your balance, coordination, clear your mind to focus and be on target. It allows you to learn how to be prepared and calculated before acting on anything.
#4 Becoming more Determined
We saw this so many times that Saturday. Achieving the perfect shot and set of shots becomes such a natural goal that our guests kept on shooting even after our proper event ended. LegendArchery.com explains that this sense of determination “spills into other areas of our lives; in school, finding a job, proposing a plan, coaching a team, and so on. As it is with archery, you want to strive for excellence in all that you do.”
#5 Having a Sense of Accomplishment
Because it is an individually executed sport, it allows you to appreciate the changes you make because you can see the results yourself. In effect, you gain a sense of accomplishment not just in achieving milestones in the sport, but in the little improvements you make.
#6 Learning how to Solve Problems
Because you can see where the problems lie, you learn how to find ways to solve them, not just with your equipment but with yourself as well – your physicality, your stance even what you are thinking of. Doing this constantly helps you look at problems more closely, in and out of the archery range, and finding all probable solutions to solve them.
#7 Appreciating the Importance of Safety
Bows and arrows sound so playful but it can be dangerous if executed mindlessly. The first things they teach you in archery is how to manage safety in the range and in handling equipment. You shouldn’t hold arrows in the direction of anyone, even without the bow. You should wait until everyone’s done shooting before you start getting your arrows from the targets. In the end, you learn how to be more mindful of your environment, the people around you.
#8 Appreciating the Value of Time
Your determination to achieve your archery short and long-term goals makes you want to spend so much time in the archery range. The problem is, practice time is limited. This gives you better appreciation of your time. In fact, we hardly had idle time last Saturday. Everyone just wanted to get on shooting and improving the way they do it as opposed to lounging about. It is the same with other things. We want to do well at work, in our hobbies, in school, that we make the most of our time to get better at doing them.
#9 Becoming more Social
It may seem to be a very isolated sport but archery is something that attracts people from many walks of life. Some do it as a leisurely hobby, others train for competition. Nevertheless, it is a sport that brings people together and it allows you to be more social with different people.
#10 Helping you Have Fun
Some of our guests asked if they can come back to Benel Archery with their friends because they had so much fun with this new experience. You spend much of the time focusing on what and how you are doing and worry less about how everyone else is but the open range allows you to experience this with others and it does look perfect with friends and even family, kids as young as 7 years old have tried it.
That relaxing and unique afternoon wouldn’t be complete without a recharger in the form of Valencia Paella from one of our first brand partners, Alba Restaurante Espanol. We would have been happy with a few plates but Alba was so generous they gave us three party Valencia Paella plates and even a Tapas Platter to go with. It was a perfect, filling and indulgent meal after what was surprisingly a tiring few hours of archery. We realized that as much as home cooked meals are Filipino tradition for Christmas, lack time (and admittedly lack of skills too) get in the way that’s why these Alba party platters are the perfect complements to our family and company Holiday celebrations. We swear by it!
After dinner, Coach Earl Benjamin Yap awarded some of our lucky guests with some GC’s and free equipment from Benel Archery. But we weren’t done yet. Some of Gifted’s brand partners had gifts for our guests as well. Bow House, local curator of dog beds and accessories, gave discount coupons. Raintree Restaurants gave away free brunch gift certificates for Chelsea Grand Café, Kabila and Museum Café. Quirks gave away a few items from their shelves that served as perfect consolation prizes. Huat Pot shared free set meal GC’s and we handed out free calorie counted meals for a day by Lunchbox Diet.
The event lasted longer than what we had planned but it was a delight and an absolutely perfect way to share the gift of experience. It was something that goes beyond giving freebies but learning something new is something they can also share and will last them a lifetime.