Father and daughter team at Mini Games Archery

By Nynette Sass* ,

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ARCHERS: Muausa Joseph Walter and his daughter Jil stand oin either side of Chef de Mission, Nynette Sass.

ARCHERS: Muausa Joseph Walter and his daughter Jil stand oin either side of Chef de Mission, Nynette Sass.

When I hear about archery, I think of Robin Hood and his merry men in the forest shooting arrows with great accuracy and deadly consequences. 

Quite romantic really. I have seen many versions of the Robin Hood movie.

We caught up with our Archery team at breakfast yesterday and this turned out to be a very informative session indeed.

There are two categories in Archery. 

Compound comprises  a shorter distance of 50 meters with approximately 18 pound pull whilst the Recurve means a 70 meter distance and a heavier pull of around 50 pounds.

Muausa Joseph Walters, says the Recurve is the more common category in Samoa while our Prime Minister competes in the Compound category.

During competition, the individuals are required to shoot 72 arrows to determine ranking. All the points are aggregated and then the highest scores will compete against the lower scores as part of the elimination process till the final top three is finally determined.

Archery may seem a very easy sport but nothing could be further from the truth. 

AIM AND SHOOT: Jil Walters at the Pacific Mini Games.
AIM AND SHOOT: Jil Walters at the Pacific Mini Games.

Joseph explained, during training, they would do 50 percent pulls on one side and then swap hands and work the other arm. This will avoid the body over compensating and causing skeletal problems in the long run. The bulk of the training is focused on the top half to build strength in the arms, shoulders and back.

Besides the odd soft tissue and relaxation massages, they do not do much else for recovery.

Angie Ula, the team manager explained that when one wants to start on archery, “they will be learning how to “pull” the bow first to build up their strength before they are let near the arrows.” 

“I think this discourages a lot of beginners.”

The sport requires patience,  skill and steady nerves as well as having the ability to calculate the distances,  arrow trajectory and of course, take into consideration any other external factors such as wind.

Yesterday, Joseph and his daughter Jil joined forces in the Team Event ranking followed by the elimination rounds. They won silver, narrowly losing to New Caledonia.

Archery shooting range is at Tuanaimato Sports complex if you are feeling all Robin Hood-like and think this can be your sport.

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