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The Sport Information Resource Centre

ISLAND PORTION OF NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR – In a combined effort to pilot the new coaching workshop and bring archery equipment and knowledge to rural communities in Newfoundland, Archery Canada ran a pilot community stream coaching clinic in three separate communities across the province – Stephenville, Corner Brook and Conne River. A total of 43 participants attended over the three days; 13 individuals attended in Corner Brook, 17 in Stephenville, and 13 in Conne River. The high participation rates are a glimpse into the promising development of what’s to come for archery in the province.

The Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Circle of Newfoundland and Labrador (ASRCNL) were able to obtain funding to bring archery equipment into the communities and contacted Archery Canada to help train interested individuals in their communities to become coaches. While there have been 2 clubs affiliated with Archery Canada in the past, the province does not currently have a provincial archery association and there has been rising interest in the sport throughout the province, and of particular interest within the indigenous community.

Symone Hunt, an Outreach Worker with the ASCRNL said, “A recent Indigenous Specific Sports & Rec Needs assessment conducted by the ASCRNL revealed that Mi’kmaq people wanted to reconnect to their culture through traditional sports, such as archery.” Ms. Hunt also outlined how aside from being traditional, archery checked a lot of other boxes for areas identified  in the Indigenous Sports & Rec Needs Assessment, such as:

  • It can be done individually or with large numbers, which is attractive to the small, rural communities that are experiencing a consistent decline in population. We are at a point where we can no longer rely on a large number of people showing up to play team sports like softball or soccer.
  • It is inclusive. Participants of all ages can shoot together. Mi’kmaq people requested more intergenerational programming where youth and elders can participate in the same program.
  • Target archery has the potential to lead to 3D archery, which leads to hunting with a bow. There is a push to develop more hunting guides and bow hunters to reconnect with the land and our culture.”

Ms. Hunt concludes with the following, “Outside of the needs assessment, my personal experience with archery is that it is addictive. I think Kelly [Chambers, course conductor] said it best when she said there is something primal inside all of us that wants to hold a bow. Once you shoot it, you experience this competitive drive that intrinsically encourages you to keep shooting and outperform yourself.”

Janice Clark, who is a coach developer, described how she was honoured to have the opportunity to work with the Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Circle of Newfoundland and Labrador to deliver pilot clinics of the new Community Coaching stream in both Stephenville and Corner Brook. “Topics introduced during the clinic included range set-up, equipment and basic shooting skills. In-range shooting is always a highlight of any clinic and culminates in a test of skill and accuracy with balloons.” Furthermore, she expressed that she hopes the clinics contribute to the continuing development of archery in the province.

Duncan Crawford, a learning facilitator who directed the pilot course in Conne River, described  the group as very enthusiastic; the group consisted of both community leaders and youth, which included Cadet Junior Rangers. 

“The course was well received, and there was lots of chatter about how much fun the group was having and that they were excited to get their club going at the Conne River Community Centre,” Mr. Crawford commented. “Symone Hunt with the ASCRNL also fulfilled her co-delivery requirements so this course can now be delivered autonomously.”

He went on to say that “Overall, it was a fun and rewarding experience; it’s always exciting to see the potential of a new and energized group of archery enthusiasts.”

The participants from these coaching courses will now share the information they learn with their communities. Archery Canada’s hope is that one day Newfoundland and Labrador will be able to build the foundation for a PTSO and that the sport itself continues to grow.

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For more information, please contact:

Zoe Meil, Communications & Safe Sport Coordinator

zmeil@archerycanada.ca

(613) 260-2113 ext. 3