Almost 200 archers from schools across mid-western Ontario took part in the what was the largest National Archery School Program (NASP) competition to date and that was held at Southampton’s Coliseum on Tuesday, April 9th.
The competition is highly regulated with constant monitoring by judges and through digital measuring. Teacher and one of the organizers, Don Matheson of SDSS, gave kudos to the Town of Saugeen Shores for the facility and the competition set-up. “They did a fantastic job,” said Matheson.
“The sport is really only three and half years old in Canadian schools,” said Tim Watts, Program Co-ordinator, “and we are seeing it grow by leaps and bounds. There are now 125 schools involved and there are over 500 teachers who have been certified in archery teaching.”
The program was introduced into Canada by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) from the United States and is now part of the school curriculum.
Archery is a co-ed sport that teaches personal skills such as, patience, focus, persistence and dexterity. In addition, everyone learns how to accomplish the basics of archery correctly and safely and to also work in a team.
At the competition, students took part in three divisions – elementary school, middle school and high school. Archers came from as far away as Tilbury and Ridgetown as well as Mississauga and Owen Sound. Among some of the most proficient archers were those from Saugeen Shores where Saugeen District Secondary School (SDSS) almost made a clean sweep in their division.
In the elementary class, former Principal of Southampton’s G. C. Huston Public School, Dan Russell, returned with students from his new school, Alexandria in Owen Sound, for a friendly rivalry. Russell, an accomplished archer, actually introduced the sport to Saugeen Shores in 2015 for both students and their parents.
In the elementary Girls’ division, Maddy Sheehan of G. C. Huston continued to shine, as she did in the last championship, coming in 1st place with a score of 263, followed by Sarah Haskins of Hillcrest with 238 and Anastasia Stavrou with 230 (it was Stavrou’s first year learning the bow and arrow and first time shooting in competition).
In the Middle School Division, Finlay Hendry of G. C. Huston was in a close tie for 1st with a score of 240, while Maddy Sheehan of G. C. Huston came in 1st in the Girls’ division with a score of 263 out of 300, only one point behind the winning high school champion at 264.
In the Boys’ High School Division, Ethan Collins of SDSS came in second with 246 against Walkerton District’s Sky Benfelz with 253.
In the Girls High School Division however, Nicole Burrows of SDSS with 264 placed 1st (only two points behind her sister Natasha who was the 2018 Champion with 266 points). Kennedy Nichol of SDSS came in a close 2nd with 259 out of 300 points.
When it came to the Boy’s High School Division, organizer Watts, said that he had “… never seen shooting like it with only eight points separating the 1st place from the 5th with scores that were separated by only eight points – 244, 245, 245, 249 and 253. It is simply incredible.”
In addition, there were team competitions that required 12 co-ed students per team. Again, Watts said that he has rarely seen shooting like it.
Elementary Division – 3 teams: 3rd place Alexandria (1417 pts. total): 2nd G.C. Huston (1554 pts. total); 1st Hillcrest (1679 pts. total).
Middle School Division – 4 teams: 4th place Walkerton District (1922 pts. total); 3rd place Alexandria (2246 pts. total); 2nd place Hillcrest (2527 pts. total); 1st G.C. Huston (2602 pts. total)
High School Division – 3 teams: 3rd place Walkerton District (2332 pts. total); 2nd place Tilbury (2683 pts. total); 1st place SDSS (2915 pts. total).
Saugeen District Secondary School -CHAMPIONS
For larger views, CLICK on images