ARCHERY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS AIMING FOR BRAY
ARCHERS TO FACE VARIED COURSE IN SEPTEMBER EVENT AT KILLRUDDERY
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 www.WAFC2016.com 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.