Archery on tar­get for strong third sea­son

Kerr ded­i­cated to re­viv­ing the sport in Bad­deck and be­yond

The Victoria Standard - - Sports / Wellness - ANDREW BROOKS

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

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