Bray People - - NEWS - By MARY FOGARTY

THE World Archery Field Cham­pi­onships 2016 will see 300 com­peti­tors from 26 coun­tries de­scend on Bray from Tues­day, Septem­ber 27, un­til Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 2, ac­cord­ing to Ro­han O’Duill of Archery Ire­land.

The cham­pi­onships will take place on the grounds of Kill­rud­dery House and Gar­dens.

The event in­volves five days of archery com­pe­ti­tion over three field cour­ses.

Any young peo­ple who ad­mire the likes of Kat­niss Everdeen of the Hunger Games, or Le­go­las from Lord of the Rings, will en­joy the demon­stra­tion of skill at Kill­rud­dery.

The cour­ses takes in wood­land and dif­fer­ent shoot­ing stages, some with dis­tance mark­ers, some with­out.

The cham­pi­onships will pro­vide a show­case to high­light the sport of archery in Ire­land, as well as high­light­ing the coun­try it­self.

‘2016 is a ma­jor sport­ing year and Archery Ire­land are de­lighted to have been cho­sen to stage the World Archery Field Cham­pi­onships.’

The event comes at the end of the out­door archery sea­son and is the cul­mi­na­tion of a sum­mer of sport in­clud­ing the Olympics and Par­a­lympics.

‘Ire­land is hon­oured to have been picked to close off this aus­pi­cious year in sport.’

The event will fea­ture live on Archery TV with sev­eral hun­dred thou­sand view­ers across the globe.

Peo­ple can buy tick­ets at to view the spectacle them­selves. Ac­cord­ing to Ro­han, the fi­nal two days will be the best for view­ing the sport as it will con­sist of knock-outs on the lawns.

He said that as well as the par­tic­i­pants, thou­sands of sup­port­ers, crew and fam­ily mem­bers are ex­pected to come to Bray for the six-day cham­pi­onship.

Archery is noth­ing new to the Bray area, with the ‘Wick­low Archers’ club boast­ing a mem­ber­ship of sev­eral hun­dred.

The lively club is very busy, with reg­u­lar train­ing and com­pe­ti­tions through­out the year.

Their train­ing takes place at a num­ber of lo­ca­tions, in­clud­ing Shore­line Leisure in Grey­stones on Wed­nes­day nights, St Ger­ard’s on Mon­day evenings dur­ing the win­ter, and in En­niskerry.

Wick­low Archers be­gan life as two sep­a­rate clubs: Wood­brook Archery Club, which was formed in 2001 in St Bren­dan’s col­lege, Bray; and Gar­den County Archery Club, which was formed in Wick­low Town in 2006. Af­ter a num­ber of years Wood­brook out­grew the sports hall in St Bren­dan’s and moved to shoot in the sports hall in St. Ger­ards in 2006. Wood­brook re­mained shoot­ing out­doors in St. Bren­dan’s un­til 2009. When Gar­den County Archery Club formed, coaches from Wood­brook trav­elled down to Wick­low for 12 weeks, help­ing to run back-to-back be­gin­ners cour­ses to get the club up and run­ning. The two clubs have had a close work­ing re­la­tion­ship ever since, along with a friendly ri­valry. In Fe­bru­ary 2011 the two clubs de­cided to move to a shared venue to en­able them to have a con­stant top class venue as well as en­abling them to share the two clubs re­sources.

In June of 2012 the com­mit­tee de­cided to ce­ment the part­ner­ship, the two clubs joined to­gether un­der the name Wick­low Archers.

We don’t know yet if any of them will be com­pet­ing in Kill­rud­dery in Septem­ber, as the qual­i­fy­ing stages to es­tab­lish who will be rep­re­sent­ing Ire­land in teams or as in­di­vid­u­als are still un­der­way.

As a world­wide sport, archery has been de­vel­op­ing and grow­ing. The 2012 Olympics were a ma­jor boost to the sport, pro­vid­ing a launch­pad for growth, and IRe­land has been ben­e­fit­ing from that. Archery Ire­land has dou­bled its mem­ber­ship over the past five years and they con­tinue to grow with new clubs open­ing an­nu­ally all over the coun­try. Last year, Archery Ire­land ath­letes com­pleted suc­cess­fully at a num­ber of in­ter­na­tional events in­clud­ing the Archery world Cham­pi­onships, the in­au­gu­ral Euro­pean Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, and the Euro­pean Field Cham­pi­onships in Poland. They see the 2016 World Archery Field Cham­pi­onships as an­other mile­stone on the de­vel­op­ment road for the sport.

Stephen Wall Mor­ris at Kill­rud­dery.

Adam Tay­lor and Katie Forte try out the course at Kill­rud­dery.

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