The sport of archery is going through a resurgence of sorts in these parts, and hours of practice are paying off.
On Monday evening, The News stopped by the Arrowsmith Archers weekly practice session when some of their own were informed they finished top 10 in the country.
The regional tournament for the Nationals were hosted by Cowichan Bowmen in Duncan on March 4 and featured some 40 archers, from youth to seniors from across B.C.
According to the Arrowsmith Archers’ team mom and club coordinator, Rhonda, results were then tabulated with the results from other regionals across the country, through the month of March.
“Our local club had five archers participating, and they competed at a very high level of skill,” she said proudly.
That they did.
Connor Presley finished first in Canada using Barebow; Aaron Bancov placed third in Barebow, Devon Harach was seventh using Recurve, and a plucky lone 11-year-old female archer, Tay, finished fifth in the country in Recurve. Jordan Trill was 18th in Recurve (bows with a sight on them. Barebows, which everyone starts with, don’t have sights).
Being able to compete in the national tournament in B.C. “is a rare opportunity,” said Rhonda, explaining the regionals are almost always held on the mainland, which makes it difficult for Island archers to attend.
“This was the first time in years it has been held on the Island,” she said, pointing out the regional tournaments “are quite formal compared to what (the archers) are used to shooting at practice. The kids were excited to be there, for sure.”
The Arrowsmith Archers have been around for at least 18 years. The club started out in the Ballenas gym, but has been at the Nanoose Pentecostal Camp for most of its history.
“Our club is expanding by leaps and bounds,” Rhonda said prior to the kids taking their positions at the line as part of Club Challenge night.
“We have around 30 juniors (17 and under), and around 10 adults.”
The archers are part of the Parksville/Qualicum Fish and Game Club as well as the BC Archers Association, and are guided by club coaches Bob O’Brien, Keith Baker and Gary Gellne.
For more info., email Rhonda at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Arrowsmith Archers has two youth group practices every Monday (from 6-7 and 7-8) and also Wednesdays from 7-8 p.m.
Registration is ongoing, and anyone interested can drop in and check it out.
The same group of archers, and possibly two others, now turn their attention to the Junior Olympian Program’s provincial finals, which are slated for April 15 in the Cowichan Valley.