By Sam Cortes, Communications Coordinator
Archery Head Coach Avril Hatherell has been to the Canada Games as an athlete, a manager, and will now experience the event as a coach in PEI.
Involved in the sport for 25 years, one of the things she loves about archery is that it’s a personal sport with lots of room for growth and development.
“It lets you compete with people across the country in a way that you don’t in other sports. And they mix the ages all together when you’re shooting, so you get to shoot with older people and younger people,” said Avril.
Team Toba’s Archers
Four archers—one in each equipment category and each gender—will represent The Herd on the ranges in PEI.
“The equipment categories for archery are recurve, which are the long, Olympic bows that you see,” said Avril. “And then the compound [bows] have pulleys at the top and bottom, which make them faster.”
They’ll also have four alternates for a total of eight athletes who will be training together this winter.
“The team will be decided at the end of November and that’s based on their three highest scores they’ve shot, mostly this fall, or earlier this year,” said Avril.
Once 2023 arrives, they’ll be kicking it up a notch, including planning a training camp with a couple other provinces in the middle of January.
“[They’ll be] getting some more practice with shooting against other people and shooting some match play with people they will probably see at Canada Games. So, getting comfortable with that, also getting them comfortable with shooting somewhere they’re not used to shooting, because that does play a factor as well.”
Post-Games: What’s Next?
The journey for athletes doesn’t need to end at the Canada Games. For many, there are opportunities beyond this event.
For these archers, they could qualify to go to the youth world championships — a really big event typically held in another country.
“We’re talking hundreds of athletes who are all shooting the same categories,” said Avril. “Very different, very fun, and you get to make some really great friendships across the world. And it also kind of prepares you for moving up a category into the senior category, where you’re also exposed to the same thing as well.”
Another opportunity is scholarships!
“We’ve also had a couple of athletes from Winnipeg who’ve got scholarships from the U.S. to go to the colleges to do archery. So I think some of the archers coming up going to the Games would definitely qualify for that, if that’s something that interests them.”
“I think it’s a really great experience for athletes, and it’s something they’ll remember their whole archery careers, or even if they finish with archery and move on, they’ll think ‘Oh yeah, that time that i went to Canada Games and that was so much fun’.”
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