Two weeks ago, I wrote what I then felt was a story of hope. Or, perhaps, what I then felt was the story that should be told.
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Young archers on target for success
An historic page was written in the anals of local archery on the weekend of August 2 and 9, at the T&T Target Archery Federation’s National Outdoor Junior and Open Championships.
These national championships heralded in a wave of young, talented archers who announced their arrival in emphatic style.
Leading this wave of young, locally-trained archers is Shemariah Ali, 12 years old of Central Precision Archery Club (CPAC), located in Charlieville, Chaguanas.
Ali dominated the women’s national open recurve ranking round, winning gold with an impressive score of 507, in the process setting a new national record of 267 for a round of 36 arrows at the olympic distance of 70 metres. No local archer below the age of 14 has ever competed at this distance.
Tenielle Frederick (CPAC) also smashed the old junior national record of 249 by 187 points, setting a new mark of 436.
Not to be outdone, local foreign-based archer, Jean-luc Espinet, 18 years old, who shot for Points Archery Club, made a triumphant return to T&T to not only win the men’s recurve title by edging out Dean Wilkens of CPAC, but smashed the youth record at 70m in doing so.
This year’s events also saw the introduction of young compound archers by CPAC, led by Orlando Radix and Hannah Ali. Radix, 14 years old, competed unopposed, ending with an outstanding score of 677 having six straight 10s on one end of six arrows.
Many of the other youth archers, such as: Reanna Churaman (Elite), Christian Forde (Academy Archery), Bryanna Ramlakhan (Southern Bowtech), Aniqah & Amaara Beharry, Ranushka Burgess and Tenielle Frederick (C.P.A.C), are all knocking on the door and ready to take their places as forces to be reckoned with in the near future.
Coach Hasmath Ali puts it into perspective: “Archery is not an easy sport as it commands physical strength and effort, working cohesively with a calm but focused mind to achieve success. I am proud to see that the young archers are moving forward and doing so in rapid style. The experiences and principles of competitive archery acquired over the years are being embedded into these young ones to make them the best that they can be.”
As for the consistent success of his own club at both the senior and youth level in both the compound and recurve disciplines, Ali stated that “It is clear that the training methods used by CPAC are beginning to bare results. It has been evident to us for some time now at the club level. Now we are witnessing it at the national level. The encouraging results shows us that we are on the right track and give us glimpses of what is to come. This is because the young committed archers are supported by their parents who ensure that the physical conditioning and strength exercises are done at home. So for those young people who want to become competitive archers, Central Precision Archery Club is the place to be!”
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