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Young archers defeat Estevan police officers in bow-and-arrow showdown

Twenty-six youth archers faced five present and former members of the Estevan Police Service.
The Estevan Archery Club faced the Estevan Police Service in a fun meet.

ESTEVAN - Members of the Estevan Police Service recently received a lesson in archery from the youth members of the Estevan Archery Club.

The two entities met at the Estevan Archery Club's indoor range on Feb. 4. Twenty-six youths, ranging in age from six to 14, represented the club, while four current EPS members and one retired officer offered competition.

The archery club tallied the scores for both sides, and the youngsters had a score of 4,403, or an average of 169. The EPS had a score of 990, or a 198 average. Blaine Stropko with the archery club noted club's top five scorers had a 1,198 total, or an average of nearly 240.

"We were really happy," said Stropko. "The kids really enjoyed it, and the police, from what they said, they all enjoyed it all." 

Stropko pointed out some older club members opted not to compete.

"They shoot from different distances, depending on their category. We start them out at 10 metres shooting, and then they earn badges when they get certain scores. Once they do, then they can move up to a 15-metre target or an 18-metre target. Those kids were all shooting from a range of three different distances."

Det. Landon Polk with the Estevan Police Service said one of the club's members reached out to the police to see if the officers would be interested in a fun match. The EPS was represented by Polk, Sgt. Tyler McMillen, Const. Katelynn Ruthven, Spec. Const. Brienne Malmgren, as well as retired officer Barry Schulte. Other officers were ready to compete but were tied up with work and other commitments.

"Everyone who came out had a lot of fun. I know a lot of our members are looking forward to next year's competition, and hopefully we can pull out the win, since the kids had the victory this year," said Polk.

Schulte is a long-time archer whose children used to be part of the club. Polk has used a bow and arrow when hunting, but is new to target shooting. But for other members, it was the first time trying archery.

"There are some really good shooters there [at the club]," said Polk. "It's a lot harder than it looks."

It was good community engagement for the EPS, he said, as there were a lot of people in attendance and everybody had a lot of fun.

The last time this competition was held was in 2006. Both Stropko and Polk said they are looking forward to it happening once again. Stropko suggested having all of the emergency services in the area join the EPS team.

It's been a busy porting stretch for the EPS in terms of community engagement, as officers also recently competed with junior curlers from the Estevan Curling Club in a bonspiel. The youngsters won by a point.