Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by John Tonin

LOOKING TO FIRE – Yukon archer’s indoor season remains in limbo without a facility to train in. Pictured, Sofija Jewell looks down her sight during the 2020 3D Archery Championships late last month at the biathlon range.

Archers look for a place to shoot

The 2020 3D Archery Championships at the end of September marked the final weekend of the outdoor shooting season.

By John Tonin on October 14, 2020

The 2020 3D Archery Championships at the end of September marked the final weekend of the outdoor shooting season.

As the mercury in the thermometer drops and the days get shorter the archer would, pre-pandemic time, be taking their training indoors. However, with the inability to use school gyms currently, the season has to be delayed.

“We are up in limbo,” said archery coach Warren Kapaniuk. “We have been asking around if there is an empty warehouse, but it is hard to find one that is heated and allows the archers to shoot 25 metres.”

The Department of Education has pushed back the opening of school gyms to used groups twice. Kapaniuk said they are hoping they can get back in their usual facility in November.

Some user groups are using the Canada Games Centre to fill in the gap in facilities. Kapaniuk said although a great facility, archery could not be safely done there.

“There is talk about the new normal but there are not enough facilities for user groups,” said Kapaniuk.

It has only been two weeks since the archers’ outdoor season finished, but Kapaniuk doesn’t want them, or the sport to lose its hard-earned momentum.

“The program has improved over the last two years,” said Kapaniuk. “We don’t want that to be lost, we want to keep the sport moving.

“If we don’t find a spot to train there is the risk the archers will find something else to fill their time.”

The club also built momentum after seeing success at Indoor Nationals held March 8 – a day after the 2020 Arctic Winter Games were cancelled.

“That was a big boost,” said Kapaniuk. “We came back with six medals. The archers know they can compete with the rest of them.”

Kapaniuk also doesn’t want the archers to regress from the training they have done throughout the summer.

“This summer was more laid back because there were no competitions,” said Kapaniuk. “We did some big changes without the downside of competition.

“We did lots of equipment changes, lots of upgrades to bows. For some barebows, we increased the draw weight and were able to watch the archers over a couple of weeks.”

Kapaniuk noted during non-pandemic times, the start of both indoor and outdoor usually allows for some changes before the focus is turned to competition training.

To keep the team engaged, Kapaniuk set up strength training with Polarettes head coach Kimberly Jones.

“The (Yukon) Aboriginal Sports Circle secured a space but it is not big enough for archery,” said Kapaniuk. “But, it keeps the team together and lets them see each other.

“With Kim, they are doing lots of archery specific things. Working on back and core muscles, targeting muscle groups, stretching, and muscle endurance.”

Some archers, Kapaniuk said, also have ranges set up in their basements or garages.

“Some have been shooting but most only get six feet,” said Kapaniuk. “You aren’t able to see what changes but any time you can shoot is better than not shooting.”

For those who can still shoot, if they have any questions, Kapaniuk said they will send a video of themselves shooting and they will discuss proper changes.

Fingers remained crossed that facilities will be open to user groups as Kapaniuk said the archers would like to participate in the Multi-Sites Indoor Championships of the Americas (MICA).

MICA is an annual indoor virtual competition organized by World Archery Americas. Scores are submitted and put into ranking with competitors across the Americas. It includes an individual and team event.

“We want to do that,” said Kapaniuk. “It will give the archers a good snapshot of where they are.”

Comments (1)

Up 3 Down 0

Yukoner on Oct 15, 2020 at 1:53 pm

Time for YG to step up and get school gyms open for activities... not sure what the hold up is there. Get a cleaner in after, I'm sure the rental cost could cover it and then you are employing another person.

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