Leahurst College

Leahurst College - Archery V2 - CopyLeahurst College is a new Kingston high-school that just opened it doors in September 2013. As a new private high-school they started up with only grade 9 and have plans expand adding grades each year until they can accommodate grade 7 through grade 12 by 2017. The school is taking a very unique approach teaching advanced placement with very high academic standards while introducing hands-on learning through practical application and experience. My younger brother Joshua was given a unique opportunity to attend and is enjoying it very much.

leahurstAs part of their practical application, they visit universities, research facilities, try different sports like rowing, rock climbing, slack line etc…. With this in mind, on Wednesday, I was given the opportunity to introduce archery to all of Josh’s classmates. One of the reasons, they wanted to introduce Archery was because Josh became the school’s first competing athlete, when he attended Ontario OFSAA championships in Toronto.  The school wanted all his classmates to understand and appreciate what it takes to not only shoot archery but to compete.

josh-leahurstWe covered the basic 10 steps of archery, safety, basic tournament rules, and some physics of archery. The students had a lot of fun in the sun shooting arrows in to the target. They all started at 5m working their way to 15m for about an hour.  At the end of class, they sat back and admired as Josh shot from 45m.  I believe they all now have an appreciation for the level of skill and consistency Joshua has developed in the sport. Little did they know, this was all with his indoor setup and feathers vanes.

There were about seven students in total, which is the most amount of students that I have personally coached at once but, it was a lot of fun. They even talked to me about doing another group lesson in the future and the possibility a Leahurst Archery club that could attend OFSAA in the future. Leahurst’s students are currently doing exams, and I want to wish them all the best of luck and I look forward to teaching them in the future.

If you would to learn more about Leahurst College check out their website or facebook page.

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Thanks followers

IMG_8289On Thursday, I competed at Ontario High School Archery Invitational Tournament, a sanctioned Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) event. To my delight over 400 provincial high-school archers participated with over 100 in the Girls Olympic division.

Although, I finished 6th this year, my excitement came from meeting some of my blog followers.  I love meeting my followers and discovering that they enjoy my blog and  find it useful.  I want to thank those people for coming up to me and introducing themselves to me.  I hope I get the pleasure to meet more of you in the future.

One of the weekend’s highlights was finding out, Canadian national and Olympic coach Joan MacDonald has read my blog. While presenting me with my 6th place award she whispered to me “good job with your blog and keep up the good work”; high praise from some with over 30 years of archery experience.

In the future, I hope to personally meet more of my followers. I would also like to thank all of my other followers who have followed my blog for the past several years.

Happy Shooting

Instinctive Archery World Champion: Peter Garrett Interview

In September 2011, a friend of mine Peter Garrett, shocked the World and became Canada’s First World Champion in Instinctive Archery capturing Gold at the World 3D championships in Austria. Recently, Peter agreed to participate in an interview describing his experience and what it was like to reach the top of the podium for Canada.

Jordan: Congratulations again Peter, first can you give our readers a little information about your shooting background. What got you interested in archery and at what age?

Peter: When I was 49, I moved to Kitchener and joined the Elmira Rod and Gun in 2004 so I could continue my pistol shooting that I had been doing for 25 years. My 11 year son saw the rubber 3D animal targets there and wanted to shoot at them so I bought us each a bow and started archery. After 3 years my son lost interest but I loved it and shot my first provincial championship in 2005.

Jordan: As you are aware North America is dominated by compound bow shooters, what made you want to shoot bare bow and instinctive?

Peter: I started out with an unsighted compound bow but there was hardly any competition, so I switched to a recurve bow as there was lots of competition and I could always put sights on it and make it an Olympic style bow.

Jordan: What inspired you to “take it to the next level” and compete on the national and international level?

Peter: I won my first provincial championship, something I had never accomplished in 25 years of pistol shooting and it really inspired me. The next year the 3D Nationals were held in Ontario so I attended it and won as well. As there was nowhere to go in unsighted compound, I switched to an instinctive bow and have been enjoying it ever since.

Jordan: What is your typical practice routine & how often do you practice?

Peter: My typical practice was to shoot 60 arrows about 3 times a week

Jordan: How do you prepare both physically and mentally for an international match such as the World 3D championships?

Peter: I won two 3D National Championships and had a chance to represent Canada at the World 3 D Championships in Italy in 2009. When I got there I realized how poorly prepared I was. They had different rules, most of the other countries had full sponsorship and they trained 2 to 3 times a day. I was so nervous I missed 3 of my first 4 targets, I hit the next 36 but it was too late and I finished 2nd last. I decided if I went again I would be properly prepared. The 3D worlds are held every two years, so I learned all the rules and started training twice a day in September 2010. I was shocked in December 2010 when World Archery announced a rule change that banned my 3 finger under the arrow grip and made a split finger grip mandatory. I had to change my bow and relearn the way I shot in order to meet the new rules. I got a loaner riser from Lancaster Archery and started practicing 2 to 3 times a day in early January and kept that up until the end of August when I went to the worlds in Austria.

Jordan: I hear that bare bow and instinctive are far more popular in Europe, what was it like competing in the World 3D championships?

Peter: In Canada in 3D, there are about 15 compound archers for every non compound archers. In Europe there are 5 non compound archers for every compound archer, a huge switch. On our Canadian team 6 of 8 archers shot compound bows but their practice area was ¼ the size and number of targets as mine for non compound archers. There is a lot of prestige associated with the non compound archers and the best of the best were in attendance. Both French and Austrian archers told me about 100 archers tried out for their countries 3 Instinctive positions at the Worlds. Canada only had myself in Instinctive and Brock Patton in Longbow.

Jordan: Here in North America, the landscape for archers is different from that of Austria how did you prepare for shooting on hills, valleys, etc…

Peter: I practiced hills by occasionally going to a ravine near by and shooting at any club I knew had a lot of hills. The Flying Feathers Club in Madawaska had the overall best variety of shooting conditions so I tried to go there whenever they had a competition or I was allowed to practice there.

Jordan: Who are your coaches and how did they help prepare you for this journey?

Peter: I did not have a coach for 3D Instinctive archery for a variety of reasons. I did receive help in the spring with general bowman ship and dealing with distractions from Kathy Millar. Larry Smith set up my new bow, figured out the best arrow to use and gave me some great training tips on judging distances.

Jordan: Do you have any sponsors that have supported you through this adventure?

Peter: Lancaster Archery had lent me a 17” Trad Tech Titan riser to try until their 19” was in full production. As the new riser was not released in time I used the 17” at the world championships. Since then Goldtip arrows and Trad Tech have helped me with my equipment as I used their product to win the World Championships.

Jordan: What was the most memorable part of the whole experience?

Peter: The most memorable moment was hearing my team mates and wife sing O’Canada from the stands as they raised the Canadian flag and played the National Anthem. I had great support from my wife and team mates throughout this event that made it extra special.

Jordan: Now that you have succeeded in becoming World Champion, what are your new archery goals for the future?

Peter: This is a great question, I stopped shooting completely for 3 months as I needed a break. I thought I might quit but I love to shoot archery and I have started again. In January World Archery changed the rules again so now I need to use a wooden bow and other significant changes that at this point I am not planning to relearn so I can shoot at the world in 2013. I am just having fun shooting right now and with retirement from work ahead in the near future I am not sure what I will do.

Jordan: Would you be interested in doing a periodic blog now and then for our readers?

Peter: I would be happy to and answer any questions someone may have.