UNITY — It was a dream season for Unity’s Sebastian Lauinger. Not only did he see improvement and success with Unity Composite High School’s archery program, but he also learned he was selected for Team Canada with archery. This selection earned him a spot at an international competition near Johannesburg, South Africa.
The National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) is promoted on the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation website.
The website states, “In NASP, international style target and IBO 3D archery is used to teach participants the values associated with learning a lifelong skill. With an emphasis on process, rather than results, NASP strives to instil a fun and safe shooting environment for each participant.
Lauinger said he participated in weekly practices with Team Canada teammates which was four hours away. Daily practice had team members shooting an average of 100 arrows a day.
A Canadian contingent of 14 flew out of Canada July 24. It included eight athletes and six supporters. The group spent the night in Johannesburg and then met up with the remainder of the team, which included 48 athletes and 23 supporters. Everyone was bussed to Camp Discovery, in the Western Limpopo province, where they practised for two days, getting accustomed to the African 3D animals, much different from methods in Canada.
Team Canada Archery, of which Lauinger was a member, competed July 28-29 in and African Genesis Archery world tournament, which is the same as NASP, but NASP does not allow adult team levels.
Sebastian competed in team events, with individual scores processed. A perfect score was 300, with each round consisting of five arrows. Competition also included six animal targets which included a bush pig, duiker, warthog, porcupine, baboon and hyena, with the targets staggered between 10 to 15 metres.
The competition ended with a bullseye round at 10m, with each round consisting of one practice round and three scoring rounds, totalling 20 arrows, counting the last 15. The process was duplicated for 15m.
Sebastian was part of an all-star junior team of 16 athletes. Team Canada also had an adult team of 16 and a developmental team of 16.
Two medals for Lauinger and Team Canada
The Canada Junior All-Star Team, of which Sebastian was a member, won 3D bronze and bullseye gold and Team Canada won overall gold. An excellent result for a first-time experience.
Teams in the tournament, with Canada, included Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
Sebastian said the biggest highlight of the competition aspect was getting to be on a team with people he has looked up to as well as being able to represent his town, province, and country.
“Bringing people together from halfway around the world."
Other experiences while in South Africa
Following the competition, Sebastian’s smaller group toured the Cape Town area for a week. They also experienced a driving safari seeing all kinds of animals, touring a wildlife sanctuary, vineyards, orange grove and packing plant as well as the beautiful coastal beaches. Tours were limited due to a taxi strike in Cape Town.
Sebastian said he was thankful for financial assistance from close friends and family who helped fund a visit to Port Elizabeth. Public money donated to him was all towards his travel and expenses affiliated with his participation in Team Canada archery.
The visit to Port Elizabeth enabled him to take part in a hunting safari with a personal professional hunter. The group stayed together at a hunting lodge and each person would go off hunting with their PH every day. Sebastian said during this time his mom, Tammy, visited an orphanage in a nearby village, dropping off some supplies that were donated for the cause. She also got to visit an elephant game preserve.
“Another takeaway that this trip taught me was I am fortunate for what I have, and to realize score isn’t everything, just enjoy being there and the experience,” says Sebastian.
Sebastian also knows that to get ready for next season he will be enlisting in lots of practices, recognizing perfecting the sport he loves is a full commitment.
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