Whitehorse Daily Star

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CATCHING FIRE – Nila Helm, a 13-year-old from Carcross, competes in the second annual Yukon Indoor Archery Championship at Takhini Elementary School on Sunday. Helm won the cub female compound division.

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EYES ONE UP – Sixty-year-old Rob Ingram lines up a shot Sunday afternoon.

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NOT JUST YOUTH – Teslin Tlingit elder Sam Johnston was the oldest competitor in the tournament.

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SHOOT TO THRILL – Ryan Jules, 15, eyes up a target.

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READY, AIM … – Angie Wally, 14, prepares to fire.

Youth interest in archery continues to soar

Katniss Everdeen continues to make handling a bow and arrow seem "cool” again.

By Marcel Vander Wier on May 7, 2014

Katniss Everdeen continues to make handling a bow and arrow seem "cool” again.

"Not only cool, but archery has been announced as a core sport for the Olympics,” said B.C. Archery Association president Ron Ostermeier. "It's a guaranteed sport, and one of the major causes of it is world-wide increase in archery due to the Hunger Games.

"There's a lot of movies out there that are peaking the interest of the kids,” he explained. "Some of the clubs in B.C. got such an influx, they can't handle everybody.”

The Yukon Aboriginal Sport Circle hosted its second annual Yukon Indoor Archery Championship over the weekend at

Takhini Elementary School.

The two-day event saw archers from across the territory shoot targets and 3D animals for a variety of medals and prizes.

Thirty archers filled the school gymnasium Saturday and Sunday, taking turns firing shots.

Some of the older athletes were vying for a chance to represent the Yukon at the North American Indigenous Games in Regina, July 20 to 27.

Ostermeier was supervising the event for the second straight year. The 66-year-old master learning facilitator was also on hand to mentor the Yukon coaches and judges.

"The Yukon program is heading in the right direction,” he assured the Star.

While the Hunger Games books and movies may have caused a worldwide surge in archery club memberships, Nila Helm of Carcross said that's not the reason she picked up the bow.

The 13-year-old was introduced to the sport by Whitehorse Archery Club president Les Johns, who was running a clinic in her community recently.

"He came out last year and I realized that I'm actually kind of good at it, so I just started doing practice. It's always fun for me.”

Corvin Dick, a 15-year-old Ross River resident, also attended the weekend tournament.

Eight years after he pounded his first arrow into a target, Dick said he entered the tournament with hopes of landing a position on the Indigenous Games team.

"I just wanted to try to go to Regina,” he said Sunday afternoon. "I just really like shooting a bow – way more than a gun.”

Helm and Dick both qualified for the 2014 team, alongside Destiny Taylor, Levi Stoneman and Ryan Jules of Teslin, and Kate Hannah, Kyland Simon and Angie Wally of Whitehorse.

Teslin Tlingit elder Sam Johnston, who many regard as the father of Yukon archery, was still competing with the best of them.

The 78-year-old said the sport has come a long way since his heyday.

"Archery's a good sport and it has grown,” he said. "I could see it growing more and more because each community now has their little group.”

In 1993, Johnston helped coach a two-person Yukon contingent that competed at the Indigenous Games in Prince Albert, Sask. Soon after, he began competing himself.

"It's like anything else,” Johnston explained. "It's in your blood. My grandfather on my mother's side was the archer.”

Despite being an individual sport similar to golf or marksmanship, Johnston said competing as a team at events such as the North American Indigenous Games helps build camaraderie and confidence in self and others.

"One thing I like to see when working with our young people is when they learn how to believe in themselves – that they actually can do something and be good at something,” he said.

Top results from this weekend's tournament are as follows:

Peewee, Male, Barebow Division

  1. David Stoneman (Teslin), 284 points

Precub, Female, Barebow

  1. Kate Hannah (Whitehorse), 463

  2. Cassie Johnson (Teslin), 402

  3. Kelly Lemaire (Whitehorse), 86

Precub, Male, Barebow

  1. Max Zimmerman (Whitehorse), 224

  2. Chance Hassard (Teslin), 217

Precub, Male, Recurve

  1. Neil Mikkelsen (Whitehorse), 428

Precub, Male, Compound

  1. Enzio Lera (Whitehorse), 247

Cub, Male, Barebow

  1. Levi Stoneman (Teslin), 411

  2. Teulet Drayvon (Whitehorse), 376

  3. Kyland Simon (Whitehorse), 322

Cub, Female, Compound

  1. Nila Helm (Carcross), 731

  2. Angie Wally (Whitehorse), 701

Cadet, Female, Barebow

  1. Destiny Taylor (Teslin), 467

Cadet, Male, Barebow

  1. Emon Williams (Whitehorse), 299

Cadet, Male, Compound

  1. Corvin Dick (Ross River), 683

  2. Ryan Jules (Teslin), 621

Senior, Female, Compound

  1. Emma Praprotnik (Whitehorse), 634

Senior, Female, Barebow

  1. Laurence Rowles (Whitehorse), 396

Master, Male, Barebow

  1. Rob Ingram (Whitehorse), 725

  2. Thomas Rowles (Whitehorse), 576

  3. Sam Johnston (Teslin), 440

Comments (3)

Up 0 Down 0

Cynthia D on May 14, 2014 at 1:33 am

Way to go Corvin, you will do great in Regina.

Up 2 Down 0

B. Foster on May 7, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Way to go Nila!


Up 2 Down 0

Colleen Mooney on May 7, 2014 at 9:11 am

Yeah Nila and Angie!!!

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