Tom’s blog: Archery is a sport for all, all the time
What a fantastic seven days in archery we had last week.
It was one of many first; the first World Archery Masters Championships, the first qualifiers for the Lima 2019 Pan American Games – and a first in level of video and digital coverage of the Pan American Championships and German Championships in an iconic spot in the city of Wiesbaden.
There was also the city finals of the European Para Archery Championships in Pilsen, Czech Republic, and the Asian Games opened in Jakarta.
That’s not including other events, like the Lowlands Shoot-out, held around the world.
If you wanted to follow the lot, you needed two screens and didn’t sleep much.
All these events had dedicated volunteers, judges, coaches, staff and, of course, athletes in common.
The first World Archery Masters Championships were held in Lausanne. It wasn’t just important because of the titles and results but because of the contributions those that attended make to the sport.
As archers themselves, as coaches and key volunteers in the clubs and federations that help young athletes achieve, too.
Masters archers are an active part of the community – a growing part, too – and one that represents the Olympic spirit and values, something that is sometimes lacking in elite sport.
Of course, those who competed in Lausanne did want to win but, more importantly, they wanted to enjoy the experience.
When someone’s bow didn’t make it from the plane, a spare bow was found. (In fact, there was so an incredible amount of equipment lending.) When someone needed help finding arrows after the field competition, they were assisted – and one archer let her high ranking go to assist others less experienced.
We’ve never had so many people say thank you for an event.
I’d like to thank them for coming and supporting the competition – and for what each and every one of them do day-to-day for archery.
The first World Archery Masters Championships wasn’t perfect – but the organising committee at the World Archery Excellence Centre in Lausanne was given one mission when the idea was first floated, and that was to ensure people enjoyed the event.
I believe that mission was accomplished.
A Swiss national television station did a short piece on the event, the subject that was archery was a true sport for all ages.
…And all people. I shot the field tournament. I had to change some equipment early on in the round and didn’t shoot a good score, but I had a lot of fun and the course was magnificent.
The 2018 Pan American Archery Championships in Medellin, Colombia also included a masters category, as well as youth, para and senior events.
The competition acted as the main qualification tournament for the Lima 2018 Pan American Games – the first to include both recurve and compound disciplines.
Trinidad and Tobago secured its first Pan Am Games berth, Sara Lopez won the championship title on home soil and two of the last finals finished in incredible shoot-offs.
It was live streamed and distributed with Spanish commentary, a new initiative from World Archery since the start of the year, for the first time.
The German championships in Wiesbaden were also broadcast online.
Held in a spectacular setting, you might have thought you were watching an international finals, and the tournament was the start of a new concept of several sports in Germany combining championships to secure increased television coverage. This will happen in 2019 in Berlin.
Many, many other events took place this week and every week around the world.
I can’t write about all of them but you can and you should. Tell us about those special things and let us know how you promote archery day to day.
The first World Archery Masters Championships take place on 14-18 August 2018 in Lausanne, Switzerland.