By Sam Cortes, Communications Coordinator
The Manitoba Games powered by Manitoba Hydro are less than 10 months away! Let’s catch up with Archery Manitoba about what the competition format will look like in Niverville and what makes the Manitoba Games an event like no other.
Indoor Archery Format at the Manitoba Games
Archery athletes 17 and under will take to the indoor format for the 2022 Manitoba Winter Games, shooting at a circular 40 cm paper target with 10 rings.
“It’s a national and international competition format of archery, but it’s a non-Olympic format,” said Ryan Van Berkel, Executive Director of Archery Manitoba. “The big difference between indoor and outdoor is the distance. The archers will be shooting 18 metres indoors. That varies pretty significantly from the 50-60 metre outdoor distance.”
The program at these Games focuses on the growth and development of participating archers.
“We try to keep the event level at a very intermediate and intro to competition level,” said Ryan.
The competition format itself is consistent with a qualifying round, followed by individual and team events that are elimination match play brackets.
“So once everybody’s seated on the first two days of competition, we get into the elimination part, which is really exciting. There’s lots of cheering and head-to-head or team-to-team that shoot a smaller quantity of arrows, so every arrow means a lot more. It’s definitely the highlight of the event,” said Ryan.
What Makes the Manitoba Games powered by Manitoba Hydro Special?
“From what we saw in 2018, the level of competition that’s introduced to the athletes and coaches in the multi-sport games environment is very significant,” said Ryan. “The teams are exposed to a level of event structure like nothing they’ve experienced. It brings out the best in all the athletes and coaches.”
For Games alumni April Willis, each time she participated as an athlete in 2004 and a manager in 2018, it’s been a very positive, memorable experience.
“I feel like it’s a really great opportunity for athletes all over the province to showcase their talents, while having the opportunity to compete against other really great young athletes in a very positive growth environment,” said April.
As a manager in Thompson in 2018, April said what also stuck with her was when she saw the connections and interactions amongst athletes during Games time.
“I think that’s one of the cool things about kids, they just automatically gravitate towards each other and start making all these friendships, and they’re exchanging phone numbers and email addresses by the end of the week,” said April. “It’s just so cool to see them making friends and learning about people, other nationalities, other areas of archery, or places in the province that people live – just learning and making friends.”
Unsure About Trying Out? Don’t Be!
Are you or do you know someone that’s involved in archery as a recreational shooter, as a bow hunter or club level archer? Ryan said participating in this event is attainable within a year of experience.
“We just want to let everybody know to promote this within their own community, because it could be providing a fantastic sport opportunity for somebody that may not think they’re able to get to that level in this time frame,” said Ryan.
April, who will be heading to Niverville in 2022 as a coach, said she also encourages archers to take a shot at competing.
“Any athlete who even has the idea that they’d like to participate, totally go for it,” said April. “Find a coach in your area and work towards your goals with them because, the archery competition at the Games is going to be good.”
But at the same time, April said there’s a lot to gain from the process even if you don’t compete at Games. The experience of tryouts and practice is well worth it.
“It’s such a good opportunity for athletes to just expand themselves. Even if you’re not sure if you might make the team, it’s still such a good opportunity to go to these different camps and do the training ahead of time and just learn and grow as an archer.”
Find Out More
Find out more about Archery at the Manitoba Games by visiting Archery Manitoba’s website. Stay tuned for more info coming out this summer on how you can get involved and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.