31 coaches given para archery experience in Americas
Led by experienced Paralympic coach MJ Rogers, who was on the USA staff at Rio 2016, the seminar marked the first step of World Archery Americas’ strategic plan to have more athletes from the continent compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Twenty athletes from five nations in the Americas attended Rio, both highs for the continent.
The Americas para archery coaching course was held from 31 October to 4 November in Chile.
World Archery Development Coordinator for the Americas Sergio Font said that the continental federation was doing its best to enhance para archery both in terms of quantity and quality:
“World Archery Americas is very interested in developing para archery, but it’s impossible without coaches who understand the specifics of coaching the discipline.”
Font added that the goals of the programme include encouraging more national federations to support the para side of the sport – in particular the W1 category, which only the USA has taken up – and making attracting female athletes a priority.
The seminar included practical simulations that had the coach attendees shooting as if they had an impairment.
“I never had the chance to shoot with one arm before, nor knew much of the theory,” said Costa Rica head coach Rodrigo Saborio. “MJ touched topics that opened my mind to the idea of para archery in a very interesting way.”
A certificate from World Archery Americas was issued to the 31 participants from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and the USA.