Archery on target for strong third season
Kerr dedicated to reviving the sport in Baddeck and beyond
The Bras d’or Archers Association has just begun its third season and things are already off to a great start. At this year’s annual meeting held May 15, club founder Stephen Kerr said the group has grown from the handful that started in May, 2014, to over 28 members now.
“Unlike some sports that require a major investment from the get go, anyone can come down and try it out since we have plenty of club equipment for people to use,” says Kerr, a retired director of engineering who retired to Baddeck in 2013.
In the first two years, the Association received several Sports and Recreation grants that helped them form the club and obtain bows, arrows, targets and more. Although the group ran slightly into the red last year, Kerr says that the key in the coming year will be to grow membership and hold meets that can generate enough revenue to make the club self-sustainable.
Once a thriving sport across the province, archery has suffered from tighter rules and regulations in public schools in recent years that have caused it to be excluded from the curriculum. Now there is a renewed effort to get kids involved in the sport. Nadine Maclellan is a physical education teacher at Baddeck Academy and Middle River Consolidated School and is currently the only basic archery instructor trainer in the Cape Breton-victoria Regional School Board. Along with Kerr, she is working hard to introduce the sport to a younger audience.
“Kids are the future of this sport. If archery is going to live on, you have to get youth involved. I’m excited to be introducing it to the higher grade kids, but I wish I was able to teach at the elementary level as well.”
Kerr also points to research on the National Archery in the Schools Program in the United States that suggests that kids who regularly participate in archery perform better in school as it teaches self-confidence, focus, agility, goal setting and has a positive impact on students’ attitudes.
Newcomers are always welcome and anyone can shoot three times before committing to a membership. Shooting fees are $5/person or $10/family. From now until October, the group will be shooting indoors at the Baddeck Curling Club with occasional meetings held outdoors. The group currently meets Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7-9pm and Sundays, 2-5pm. Check their Facebook page for current times and information or call 902-295-1519.
Alison Holmes (left), a new member of the Bras d'or Archers Association is given some coaching by Association Founder and President Stephen Kerr. Photos by Andrew Brooks / The Victoria Standard