Lakes District Secondary School students had a sweeping victory at the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) virtual provincial archery tournament.
Coach Dirk Hofer told Lakes District News that it was LDSS’ second time at competing in the BC Wildlife Federation-sponsored tournament.
“Last year the tournament was cancelled. This year as we continued with our COVID protocols, it was decided rather than hosting the provincials at one of the participating schools, it would be held virtually so that schools could shoot at their own gym and send their results in to the NASP website. Teams needed to be registered prior to the tournament and a really cool app was made available for the official score keepers at each site. That made the entry and communication with NASP really easy,” said Hofer.
LDSS had 28 archers that competed in two divisions. As middle school is considered grades 6-8 LDSS was able to enter as a grade 8 team and as a 9-12 high school team. The students were also able to practice in small pods for about a month and a half. Practices for the different pods were held in the mornings before school, during lunch break, and after school.
Chris Lim, the BCWF Youth Programs and NASP BC manager said that the event was crucial in providing young archers an opportunity to connect during a time where it was not possible to gather in person.
“This event was crucial Archery is one of the few team sports that is both highly inclusive and intrinsically socially distant. Although we were not able to host an in-person tournament, the NASP BC team is proud to have brought schools and students in the community together. Through hosting a virtual tournament, we were able to provide NASP BC archers a similar experience to in-person tournaments, and hope we created a sense of normalcy and fun for students during an otherwise uncertain time,’ he said.
LDSS swept the tournament and was the top overall school, with a total score of 3256. Additionally, the top three overall archers from the tournament were also LDSS students. Walker Green earned third place, with a score of 279 (13 tens), Lela Thiesen earned second place with a score of 280, and Aly Shively was awarded with first place, with a score of 286.
Top archer was Shively put in six rounds of five arrows each scoring 286 points out of 300.
“That is some accurate shooting,” said Hofer.
“Lake District Secondary School’s performance in this tournament was superb. The team swept the podium, and we are very proud of their accomplishments. I think their performance resulted from two factors. Firstly, the youth practiced frequently, are dedicated to the sport of archery, and had a great team to lean on. Secondly, LDSS has a great coach (Dirk Hofer) who believed in his team and in the sport of archery, and is passionate about how this sport can bring students together. Plus, the team had some fantastic uniforms, and that always is a great bonus!” said Lim.
Winners in each category were Abby Gray, Emma MacWilliam and Carys Griffin in first, second and third place respectively for Grade 8 girls category. Walker Green, Emmitt Lambert, Justin Derksen in first, second and third place respectively for Grade 8 boys category. Aly Shively, Lela Thiessen, Laurie Wilson in first, second and third place respectively for High school girls category and Avery Donnelly, Trent Baldwin and Kyle Nealis in the first, second and third place respectively for the High school boys category.
“Results were better than expected. Our grade 8’s swept the podium in both girls and boys, and even more surprisingly we were able to achieve the same results with the high school students,” said Hofer. “It was so amazing to see the skill level improve from one practice to the next. To keep interest high I played a number of archery games with them as well which continued their skill development.”