Bulls­eye for EL club

Buf­falo Archery Club right on tar­get with haul of eight medals

Go! & Express - - Sport - MADELEINE CHA­PUT

THE Buf­falo Archery Club re­cently took home eight medals at the Na­tional Archery in the Schools Pro­gramme (NASP) Eastern Cape Cham­pi­onships held in Port Al­fred. Com­pet­ing among pupils from var­i­ous schools in Port Al­fred, Uiten­hage, Jef­freys Bay and Graaff-Reinet, the Buf­falo Archery Club took home a to­tal of three gold medals, three sil­ver medals and two bronze.

Win­ning gold medals in the ju­nior boys cat­e­gories, were Josh Lind­strom and Jared Swart. In the se­nior girls cat­e­gory, Sarah Ford was the gold medal win­ner in the 3D cat­e­gory.

Started as the Gonu­bie Archery Club in 2013, the Buf­falo Archery Club con­sists of 30 archers from var­i­ous schools around East Lon­don, in­clud­ing Bea­con­hurst, Hud­son Park, Stir­ling, Claren­don and Bel­lafides schools.

“I wanted to start a sport, some­thing dif­fer­ent, that ev­ery child can take part in no mat­ter what size, how strong, or how short or tall they are. Kids from grades 4 to 12 can do archery and when it comes to com­pe­ti­tions, ev­ery­one shoots with the same bow and uses the same ar­rows,” Buf­falo Archery Club founder and in­struc­tor Lud­wig Ehrke said.

The archers do not only com­pete for their club but also for their schools. They com­pete as ju­niors and se­niors in two cat­e­gories, namely the Bulls Eye (2D) and 3D cat­e­gory which was only in­tro­duced last year.

Archers are ex­pected to shoot a bulls­eye tar­get at dis­tances of 10 and 15m at com­pe­ti­tions. In the 3D cat­e­gory, archers get to shoot at 3D mod­els of an­i­mals.

“In the be­gin­ning we were not as com­pet­i­tive as the other schools and clubs in the Eastern Cape, but now we are a force to be reck­oned with as at ev­ery com­pe­ti­tion the club walks away with a few medals, es­pe­cially in the ju­nior sec­tion. I am also proud of one of my ju­nior archers, Jared Swart, who has won the EC champs for three years in a row,” Ehrke said.

In South Africa, archery is a well-known sport in Gauteng, North West, the West­ern Cape, Mpumalanga and Free State, but as it is a rel­a­tively new sport in the Eastern Cape, the club re­lies on the in­volve­ment and en­thu­si­asm of the archers and their par­ents.

“The par­ents sup­port their archers very well when it comes to practices and com­pe­ti­tions,” Ehrke said.

“We are slowly but surely grow­ing in the Eastern Cape with one club in East Lon­don, two in Port Al­fred, one in Graaff-Reinet, one in Uiten­hage and now a new one in Hu­mans­dorp,” he said.

With 17 archers in the three Eastern Prov­ince teams, the

Buf­falo Archery Club will be par­tic­i­pat­ing at the In­ter-Provin­cials and the 2017 NASP Na­tion­als to be held next month in Uiten­hage.

Hav­ing com­pleted his Ba­sic Archery In­struc­tor (BAI) and Ba­sic Archery In­struc­tor Trainer (BAIT) course, Ehrke hopes that un­der his coach­ing, the team will con­tinue to suc­ceed and grow.

“A lot of work goes into getting the archers to un­der­stand the dis­ci­plines of the sport as ev­ery­thing re­volves around safety and whis­tle com­mands on the range. Archery is a fun sport, but it is some­times a chal­lenge to get that through to the archers, es­pe­cially dur­ing a com­pe­ti­tion,” Ehrke said.

“I love coach­ing archery and I am very pas­sion­ate about this fast-grow­ing sport. The archers have put in a lot of time and ef­fort and I’m very proud of all that they have ac­com­plished.”

ACHIEV­ERS: Win­ners at the Na­tional Archery in the Schools Pro­gramme (NASP) Eastern Cape Cham­pi­onships, were, from left, Josh Lind­strom (gold, sil­ver), Jared Swart (gold, sil­ver) and Liam Co­lette (bronze)

GIRL POWER: The Buf­falo Archery Club ex­celled at the re­cent NASP Eastern Cape Cham­pi­onships in Port Al­fred. Team mem­bers are, from left, gold medal win­ner in the 3D cat­e­gory Sarah Ford, sil­ver medal win­ner Cay­ley-Kent Brown and bronze medal win­ner Ni­cole Nki­wane

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