Bull’s eye! Leasider Shawn Adams unleashes your inner archer

Shawn Adams. Photo Michelle Picard.
Shawn Adams. Photo Michelle Picard.

It’s been said that if you find work you love, you won’t work a day in your life.

Take Leasider Shawn Adams.

As a master archery teacher and coach, he is living his lifelong dream of, as he says, “doing sport as a living.”

Growing up on a horse farm outside Toronto, Adams and his brother spent their childhood acting out the movie characters they admired.

From Robin Hood and Conan the Barbarian to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, the Adams boys were constantly the stars of an adventure.

On a family trip to Orlando when the boys were young, the brothers had their first experience of Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament.

Seeing a show dedicated to jousting, swordsmanship, horsemanship, falconry and so much more in a medieval castle-like space, the boys were mesmerized.

In 1993 when Medieval Times opened in Toronto, Adams’s brother applied for and received a job in the show. Eventually, he created his own show and travelled across North America entertaining audiences. Shawn soon joined him and the brothers toured together, living out their childhood adventures.

Adams eventually moved back to Ontario permanently and accepted a job with Casa Loma as a medieval specialist.

As his popularity as a performer and speaker grew, Casa Loma asked Adams if he would give archery classes to kids as part of the medieval experience.

Wanting to be as authentic and professional as he could, Adams took archery lessons, studied the sport thoroughly and received his coaching certification. As his work with kids became more and more popular, parents began asking if they, too, could take lessons.

From this surge of interest Shawn’s Archery Instruction Toronto was born.

Shawn with an archery student. Photo Michelle Picard.
Shawn with an archery student. Photo Michelle Picard.

The year-round business offers lessons both inside and out to anyone of any age and any level wanting to shoot for fun or competitively. Adams teaches kids as young as nine and adults in their 70s. It’s a sport, he points out, that “people can start at any age.”

They also come to Shawn’s for team-building events, parties or date nights. Many students join to be competitive enough to participate in tournaments.

Archery students. Photo Michelle Picard.
Archery students. Photo Michelle Picard.

In just one of many success stories, Adams taught a 26-year-old student who had never been serious about any sport. Within three years of starting archery lessons, she was a national champion.

He’s also been teaching a nine-year-old who is breaking provincial records. “It’s cool to think,” he notes, “that maybe I’ll be an important piece of her journey as she continues to progress through the sport.”

With the upcoming summer Olympics and the popularity of TV shows and movies such as Game of Thrones, Brave, Lord of the Rings and The Hunger Games, archery is gaining new converts drawn to the beauty and skill in this seemingly simple activity.

To tap your inner archer, check out the company’s website at shawnsarchery.com, call 416-702-2724 or email .

About Susan Scandiffio 153 Articles
Susan Scandiffio was born in Scotland and raised in Toronto. While she holds a master’s degree in history, her main passion (besides her wonderful family) is sports. Susan can often be found at the A.C.C. or in a Leaside arena or playing field, scoping out stories for Leaside Life.