Nevis archery team participated at the just concluded Southern Carribean Archery Championship held in Guadeloupe from April 18th nd to April 21st .
Guadeloupe won the coveted Southern Carribean Championship cup. Participating teams were drawn from Martinique, Barbados, Trinidad, French Guyane and Nevis.
Team Nevis was comprised of Dane Sandiford, Catherine Joseph and Pam Barry. It was the first time the Nevis team was participating in a regional meet since its inception last year.
Dane Sandiford the Nevis Archery Team captain talked of the warm reception his team received in Guadaloupe: “Nevis was embraced by the host country Guadaloupe and by teams from other Caribbean islands. They were very encouraged by our strong participation and great skills in such a short time from the scores we were making. They want us to participate in regional meets. We were presented with a plaque in honor of our great participation and skill during the competition.”
Sandiford who is the Director of Grounds and Landscaping, Four Seasons Resort, Nevis said the experience in Guadeloupe where members of the Nevis team shot alongside veteran archers enabled the team to realize the extent at which they needed to perfect their skills in the archery sport to reach a level where they can compete comfortably at a regional meet.
“It was a great experience for team Nevis in that we did not know what to expect in terms of competition level. We were surprised at the large number of athletes that participated. There were over 100 athletes who participated. That was one of our first major observations,” Sandiford stated.
Some of the teams shooting in Guadaloupe have competed in Carifta and Panam games. “We did not go to this competition hoping to win any medals since we were coming against veterans. However we went to the competition with the hope of getting experience and proper coaching from other experienced archers and that is exactly what happened,”Sandiford noted.
Even though Nevis team had a lot to learn, the experienced teams embraced the team. Pam Barry explained that the indoor archery shooting experience was totally different from outdoors. “It was a wonderful experience,” she said
Sandiford listed some of the skills his team learnt: “We learnt correct anchoring position, the proper way to stand. We were also told of other pieces of equipment which would enable us to be better archers in the future.” For instance the size of the arrow made difference in flight especially when one was firing arrows 50 metres or more.”
According to Ms Barry, there were a lot of women competing. “Catherine and I enjoyed meeting those women. There was a female archer who with assistance of braces on her legs, had to sit in a chair to compete. Her husband who was recovering from a stroke and could not speak properly also participated in the competition. The couple shot very well and won medals.
She also said there were some teenagers who were outstanding. One of the teenagers, Barry said, has competed in Colorado and South America.
Sandiford was able to network with experienced coaches. In order for the Nevis team to be well prepared for the next regional competition which will be held in Trinidad in 2015, the Guadeloupe team’s coach will be coming to Nevis in November to train members of the Nevis team.
Sandiford is determined to propel his team to the highest level. “It is a wonderful sport. It is the fastest growing sport in the world. We need to enlist more people in the local team. It takes consistency and determination. Archery is great fun. It also allows you to meet new persons from other territories.”
Barry sees a lot of potential in the local team, “We have some people in our team who are very good archers but they could not go to this competition. We had planned that six persons would participate in the competition but due to other commitments they could not make it to the competition at this time.”
Sandiford says those who wish to join Nevis archery team can contact him at the archery range, Bath Village. Training sessions are held on Saturday mornings 9. 30 a.m to 11.00 a.m and Sunday afternoons from 3.00 p.m.to 6.00 p.m.
For more information call 6639774 or 6615407