Our archers shooting at targets in tournaments again

Western Cape Archery is slowing but surely getting back into the swing of things with tournaments taking place thick and fast again after Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown brought the sport to a standstill.

Karen Hultzer, chairperson of Western Cape Archery, said they are glad to be back in action and look forward to growing the sport in the province.

She said what counted in their favour during lockdown was the fact that archers could still practice their sport individually. It was easy, she says, as most people who wanted to keep up with things simply set up a target in their house or garden if they had the space and continued to practice.

She reckons they actually improved their skills, as they would not do that under normal circumstances. So, archers were able to keep up their skills.

As far as competitions were concerned, they had to cancel a lot of indoor ones but for the last few weeks have been squeezing them in. Normally we would have one or two indoor competitions a month, but we are having once a week now. The indoor competitions take place during winter, she explained.

That is the case because we need to get our scores for our colours. For indoor you need four qualifying scores for provincial colours. We are not sure what is happening at national level, but we want to give our archers at least five tournaments to get provincial scores.

What I do know is that it is proposed that archers all over the country shoot on the same weekend for the national championships under normal conditions with judges in place. The scores will then be sent in so that people do not have to travel.

The indoor national championships are planned for 25 October. Our national body said we could not start tournaments until August, which links in with World Archery’s schedule, but we got the nod to go ahead in July and we have been busy since pretty much after that.

We have also started with the outdoor tournaments. We missed the outdoor provincial championships which normally happens in March before nationals. It is tough currently, as we can only have eight archers on the range at a time, so it is a long process, as it could take up to eight hours to complete a tournament.

She highlighted upskilling her social media and technology skills as a positive outcome of the ban on sporting activities, as they were forced to have online meetings. With clubs and federations in the Western Cape so dispersed it is hard to bring all the representatives to Cape Town.

With online meetings, however, it was far more effective to get together and everybody got used to it quickly. Karen feels there is more participation, discussion and problem-solving in the online meetings.

If you want to find out more about archery and its clubs in the Western Cape, visit https://wparchery.org/