Archery club on target

Hamilton Metro News - - FRONT PAGE - Ge­off Lewis ■ Any­one in­ter­ested should call Chris­tine or Don 0274 894457 or 0275 894457, lake­viewarchers@gmail.com.

Mem­bers of the Lake­view Archery Club turned up for a club work­ing bee over the week­end in the rain — but still found time to do some shoot­ing.

Lake­view was es­tab­lished five years ago and has quickly de­vel­oped into one of the North Is­land’s fore­most field archery clubs re­cently host­ing the North Is­land Bowhunters So­ci­ety’s 60th an­nual tour­na­ment.

One of the club’s big ad­van­tages is its base — the 14 acre prop­erty of Chris­tine and Don Fin­negan near Kara­piro which in­cludes large sand banks and a 7 acre gully sys­tem is ideal for field archery. This is cur­rently be­ing con­nected into a neigh­bour’s gully to add fur­ther op­por­tu­nity to the archers’ do­main.

The range has a se­lec­tion of tar­gets — wool bales stuffed with plas­tics, flat tar­gets with pic­tures of an­i­mals and cast rub­ber an­i­mals.

Chris­tine took up the sport when Don bought their grand­son a bow.

“It was hang­ing in the shed and I thought it would be in­ter­est­ing to learn how to use it. We got some­one to show us the ba­sics in an in­door range. We were trav­el­ling down to Toko­roa to shoot with the club there but de­cided to es­tab­lish a club our­selves and it’s just taken off. Now we are host­ing na­tional and in­ter­na­tional events.”

“Lake­view Archers has about 60 mem­bers in ju­niors, in­ter­me­di­ate and se­nior lev­els. Most of our mem­bers come from the Cam­bridge and Hamil­ton area.”

A mem­ber of the NZ Black Ar­rows na­tional team, Chris­tine has re­cently re­turned from com­pe­ti­tion in the world Bow Hunters Cham­pi­onships in Italy where she com­peted among 1700 archers from around the world. She also com­peted in the same event in Bu­dapest in 2015 and South Africa in 2013 coming away with a bronze medal.

She was a mem­ber of a 27-strong group of Kiwi archers which com­peted in key US Na­tional Field Archery Cham­pi­onship tour­na­ments in Fresno and Redding in April 2015 and is en­tered in the coming In­ter­na­tional Pa­cific Archery Cham­pi­ons which will be held in Whangarei in Oc­to­ber.

Hamil­ton cou­ple Tony and Robyn Den­ton, the club’s course captain and reg­is­trar, are Hamil­ton City Coun­cil civil en­gi­neers. Tony had joined NZ Bowhunters as a teenager and last year with a cou­ple of other Lake­view mem­bers took part in the World Field Archery Champs in Wagga Wagga in Aus­tralia.

“Quite a lot of peo­ple spent time in the bush. Hunt­ing with a bow is dif­fer­ent to shoot­ing with a gun. You have to get a lot closer, of­ten closer than 30m so there’s a lot of stalk­ing and game track­ing and know­ing the an­i­mal.

“I gave it up for a while but then no­ticed there was this new field archery club so got back into it.”

There are three types of bows and all are rep­re­sented by archers in the club. First there is the tra­di­tional wooden long-bow as used for hun­dreds of years, then there is the ‘re­curve’, which as its name im­plies is curved two ways to give ad­di­tional power to the shot, and fi­nally there is the mod­ern ‘com­pound’ bow, a tech­ni­cal fan­tasy of wheels, cams, sta­bilis­ers, and op­ti­cal sights which is de­signed to al­low the user to gain max­i­mum power with only rea­son­able arm strength.

There are three types of archery — target, field and bow hunt­ing, rep­re­sented in NZ by three or­gan­i­sa­tions, Archery NZ, the NZ Field Archery As­so­ci­a­tion and the NZ Bow Hunters So­ci­ety. Lake­view of­fers target op­por­tu­ni­ties for all types.

“Field archery is a bit like golf, you walk around a course with a small group of other archers and this can in­clude for­est, farm­land and even old quar­ries,” Tony said.

Fel­low club mem­ber and bow hunter Steve Watkins said be­ing quiet, the bow had an ad­van­tage over a ri­fle in the bush and a day’s shoot­ing draw­ing a 70 — 80lb bow can be a work­out.

Mean­while Lake­view Archers will host the field sec­tion of the Archery New Zealand Youth Na­tional Cham­pi­onships in Oc­to­ber and has been used as a train­ing ground for young archers in­clud­ing those train­ing for the Hal­berg Ju­nior Dis­ablil­ity Games to be held in Auck­land in Oc­to­ber.

Chris­tine Fin­negan.

Tony Den­ton.

Steve Watkins.

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