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Archery classes on target
Youths learning focus and showing steady improvement, says coach

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fort Providence youths are starting to show a talent for archery, according to a local coach.

NNSL photo/graphic

Delaney Vandell, left, Adam Nadli, Logan Causa and Dustin Bonnetrouge are some of the regular participants in the Fort Providence archery program. - photo courtesy of Edward Landry

Edward Landry runs an archery program in the hamlet. Between six and 11 youths attend the practices are held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 6 p.m. in the curling rink.

Landry began the program last fall although work commitments meant he had to close it for a while. He reopened the program in mid-June.

Since then Landry said he's seen a noticeable improvement in the youths' skills.

"They've already picked it up," he said.

Delaney Vandell, 12, is one of the regulars at the practices.

Vandell said she likes the uncertainty that comes with initially pulling back the bowstring with an arrow attached.

"It's like you don't know where the arrow is going to go," she said.

Vandell said she enjoys archery and is glad it is being offered in Fort Providence. She has noticed her own skills improving since the program started.

Landry said at first many found the sport difficult. Now some of the regular participants know the basic techniques and are working to shoot their arrows in tighter groupings.

Once youths are shooting their arrows consistently, Landry gives them tips on how to aim for a better area on the target.

If participants are having difficulties holding their bow properly or have an improper anchor point, Landry said he watches them to see what is going wrong and then offers suggestions. Some participants need little guidance.

"There are a few of them that are just consistent," he said.

During the practices the youths are learning to shoot from different distances including 10, 15 and 20 metres. Because some of the archers are doing so well, Landry plans to start a third practice time that will be for the more advanced group.

"A lot of them have a lot of talent," he said.

Some of the participants had previously fallen through the cracks in the athletics programs offered in the hamlet because they hadn't shown talent in other sports.

They are, however, doing well in archery and putting a lot of focus into the practices, he said. Landry said he hopes they will be able to take that same level of focus and apply it to their schoolwork.

Landry coached the NWT archery team that competed at the North American Indigenous Games in 2008, and said he would like to see archery develop in the North as a serious sport.

Youths in the territory have shown they have a lot of innate archery skills, he said.

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