Arrows could be heard whizzing through the air at Moyer’s Landing in Cambridge as many of the top archers from across the country competed for a spot at the upcoming World Archery Championships in Berlin, Germany.
The competitors with the top two scores automatically qualify, with a third being selected by the Archery Canada brass.
Ron van der Hoff, national senior team coach, says lots of planning has gone into the event and he’s very particular in what he’s looking for out of the Team Canada hopefuls.
“I’m looking for archers that are attacking the shots,” van der Hoff said.
“It’s a physical sport in practice, we need to do a lot of work. In competition it’s 90 per cent mental, it’s a difficult sport in that perspective.”
Cambridge was selected to host the camp for a number of reasons, including its central location within the province.
“They’ve used this location in the past,” van der Hoff said.
“I think they want to set up a high performance environment for archery in the region. I come from the Netherlands and we started setting up a system in 2009 and right now its one of the best facilities in the world.”
van der Hoff believes Canada should try to mimic his home country’s facility, which houses over 400 full time athletes from various sports.
An indoor facility is a “must have” to compete against the top countries like South Korea, Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy and the United States, he says.
The Canadian men's team currently ranks 29th in the world.
The idea of an indoor facility for archery in the city is far from a pipe dream, as director of high performance for Archery Canada Alan Brahmst says talks have started around how and where to put it.
While not wanting to disclose too much information, Brahmst says discussions have been “really good.”
“We’re meeting this weekend,” he said.
“We have a challenge in Canada, it’s called snow. We have to shoot 70 metres so we need an indoor facility. There's only one and it’s at the airport in Peel.”
Brahmst says the top competitors will shoot around 100,000 arrows per year, highlighting the need for year-round access.
Archery Canada is beginning grassroots efforts in the area and the facility would be used by both high performance competitors and more entry level archers.
When reached for comment about the potential for a new training space, the City of Cambridge wouldn’t comment on specifics. Instead, staff referenced its Parks and Recreation master plans.
“The vision for future recreational spaces and services will be defined through the revision of the Parks and Recreation master plans,” the city said in an email to CambridgeToday.
“These plans will outline needs, identify what we should be providing and how they should be funded. The City of Cambridge is currently updating the Parks Master Plan, a process which began this past March with public consultation and an Engage Cambridge survey. This plan will work in conjunction with the revised Recreation Master Plan, work that is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2024.”
The World Archery Championships run from July 31 to Aug. 6 and is the first step in the lead up to the 2024 Paris Olympics.