KAMSACK — The River Valley Archery Club, now in its fifth season of fostering the development of archery skills for its members, has begun its winter season with shoots being held in the Veregin arena.
“To date, we have 14 youths, between the ages of five and 21, registered for the season,” said Scott Green, club president. Registration for adults has not yet been completed.
The youths meet at the arena once a week; with seven attending practices on Thursday evenings and seven on Friday evenings, when he and his wife, Rhonda attend as coaches.
“We practice from about 6:30 p.m. to about 8 p.m.,” he said. Youths pay the club $90 a year plus $20 for the Junior Olympic Program (JOP) which is a program offered by clubs affiliated with the Saskatchewan Archery Association.
In the JOP, students shoot 10 rounds of three arrows per round at 10-round targets and their scores are recorded, he said. Students advance as they progress and shoot from an increased distance: 10 metres to 15 metres then 18 metres. At the end of the year, students may advance to a provincial tournament where they compete against others in their scoring category.
Last year, when the tournament was held at Prince Albert, the River Valley Club had three of its members participate and they did well, he said.
The adults will probably meet Wednesday evenings, he said. Last year the club had 14 adults and it is expected about the same number will be registered for the 2022-23 season.
With practices in the arena, club members use targets as well as some of the older 3-D targets that had been used for outdoor shoots, he explained. Outdoor shoots using the club’s 3-D targets are normally held at a location north of Veregin.
Green said that during the summers he and other club members often attend various shoots on their own, and not necessarily as a group from the club.
“I go out for the fun, experience and practice.”
The club’s first fundraiser of the winter season was held on Saturday. It was a Halloween wing-and-rib night when Rocketbilly, which is the band headed by Cole Smith of Kamsack, performed, and club members worked in the kitchen, preparing and serving the wings, ribs, onion rings and other popular fare.
“We hold these wing-and-rib night fundraisers about every three weeks,” he said. The money raised goes towards supporting the club, paying for heat and power in the arena, and for such costs as the purchase of competitors’ medals.
An indoor 3-D shoot is planned for Nov. 26 and 27 when about 30 archers are expected to compete, hoping to win medals in their categories.
“These events bring people in to the area from all over.”
The club will be hosting a coaching clinic Nov. 19 and 20 when the Saskatchewan Archery Association will provide an instructor, he said. “We expect that three or four of our club members will be attending in order to obtain their coaching certification.”
Also required to attend regular shoots along with the coaches are range safety officers, of which Green is one.
“We’re very happy to have access to the former Veregin ice rink,” he said. “Many other clubs are not so fortunate to have such a facility to practice in during the winter, and if they shoot during the winters, it is often by using school gymnasiums.
After the club was able to have a foam insulation sprayed on the arena’s walls last year, archers were able to shoot in short-sleeved shirts during the winter, even when the temperature outside was 40 below.
“This year, we’re working on improvements to the kitchen, including switching the deep fryers from electricity to natural gas.”
In a few weeks, the club’s next fundraiser will be a pre-Christmas wing and rib night, he said.
Persons wishing more information on the club or wanting to join are asked to contact the club through its Facebook page at Kamsack River Valley Archery Club.