Innisfail hosts 2017 Indoor Provincial Target Championships

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Archers from across Alberta compete in annual event

INNISFAIL – The province’s top archers took aim at the provincial title when they gathered in Innisfail for the 2017 Indoor Provincial Target Championships.

The event took place at the Innisfail Twin Arena April 8 and 9 and was hosted by the Central Alberta Archers Association, on behalf of Archery Alberta.

“Our first flight was at 8 a.m. The archers come in and they shoot what we call a 600 round which is 60 arrows,” said Walter Wiley, president of the Central Alberta Archers Association. “They shoot the first half of that, they’ll take a short break and then they’ll move into their second portion of it. (Sunday) they’ll come back at the same time.”

Archers of all ages competed in the championships ranging from peewees, six- and seven year-olds, to the master category of those 60 years and older.

During the event, target shooters were placed in groups of four.

“On most of our targets here today, we have four archers per target so everybody is scoring within their own group,” he said. “In that group you’re going to have somebody that’s calling out the score of that arrow, somebody that’s marking the arrows, and you typically have two people that are scoring,” explained Wiley.

Between 160 and 200 participants from locations like Medicine Hat right up to Grande Prairie participated in the weekend tournament.

One competitor was Cory Smandych from Calgary, past provincial champion and six-time national champion. He is also an executive member of Archery Alberta and Archery Canada.

“They’ve put on a great shoot so far,” said Smandych. “The community really seems to have stepped up behind the (Central Alberta Archers Association). It’s a great facility they’ve got here and it’s a great turnout.”

The Archery Alberta AGM was also held that weekend, where annual awards were handed out to archers in addition to gold, silver and bronze medals won during the provincial championships.

Wiley said the event was a great success both in the number of participants and the hard work by organizers and the town.

“It has been a fantastic experience,” he said, noting it was the first time the association has hosted the event in Innisfail. “The town has been fantastic to work with and the local sponsors. The venue, the Innisfail arena, is great,” he added. “It’s been amazing.

“I can’t say enough great things about hosting here. This is probably one of the best venues that I’ve had the opportunity to work with for something like this,” said Wiley.

“It’s a big weekend and it’s been a great weekend.”

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Kristine Jean

Kristine Jean is a reporter with the Innisfail Province, joining the newspaper in 2013. She covers Penhold municipal politics, news and community events as well as sports in and around the town as well as in Innisfail.