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World Indoor Archery Championships coming to Wellington

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The NZ Field Archery Association (NZFAA) is proud to be hosting the International Field Archery World Indoor Championships in Wellington in April.

The championships will see over 200 archers from 13 different countries come together for a three day competition at the ASB Stadium Wednesday 10th April through to Friday 12th April.

There are a large variety of bows being shot at the event with over 68 divisions being represented at the event. Everything from the traditional longbow through to the highly complex compound bow will be shot at this event by archers who range in age from 10 to 74 Years.

The event requires each archer to shoot three rounds - with each round consists of 60 arrows being shot over twelve ends. The maximum points able to be scored in each round is 300 and some of the archers attending the event are expected to complete three clean rounds. Impressive shooting when you realise that they are shooting at a target set at 20 yards and aiming for a spot that is only the size of a tennis ball Each round takes about 2 ½ hours to complete.

For those archers who do achieve the magical ‘900’ the next step is the shoot off where each archer is given three more ends to shoot. Each end consists of five arrows and it is at this stage that accuracy becomes even more important with the bullseye or ‘X’ scores being recorded. ‘If we can’t separate the winners at the end of this process, it comes down to a single arrow shoot off’ says NZFAA President Ocky Blignaut, ‘and that is where the nerves really kick in because it is the archer with the arrow closest to the centre X that will win’.

Event co-ordinator Lyall Lainchbury has been kept busy ensuring that the registration process has run smoothly while trying to ensure that a unique kiwi experience is provided for all of our overseas competitors. ‘It has taken a lot of effort, but at the end of the day I am sure that all of the archers will rank this as an event to remember and that makes it all worthwhile’ said Lyall.

Lyall also notes that the support of various sponsors has been crucial to enabling this event to be held. ‘Archery is only a small sport in NZ and every little bit helps when it comes to running an event like this’ says Lyall, ‘The volunteers are absolutely crucial too - not only for this event, but for the ongoing administration of archery in NZ’.

Hosting an indoor event is not common for NZFAA who are generally involved with events held outdoors. The field archery courses are similar to golf whereby the archer shoots the target which is set out at varying distances and is of varying sizes, they then walk up to the target, score and retrieve their arrows and then move to the next target.

We were lucky to be able to work with in conjunction with Archery NZ at their Indoor Nationals last year held in Auckland. ‘This gave us a unique opportunity to assist in the set up and running of a large indoor event’ said Lyall Lainchbury, event coordinator.

We have a crew of volunteers (mainly archers or their families) coming in on Monday to help us set up the 35 target butts needed for the event. Not only are we setting up the targets, but also setting out all of the ‘shooting lines’ needed to ensure that each archer is shooting from the same distance away from their target. ‘It is amazing how a day of hard work will change a space from a baseball arena into an indoor archery range’, says Lyall.

One of the really great attributes of the sport is that offers the opportunity for families to compete in the same competition, on a world stage, albeit in different divisions, against many nations. This competition sees combinations of father/son - mother/daughter - husband/wife - father/daughter- Grandfather/Grandson, with one combination of Grandmother/daughter/granddaughter all shooting at the one event. Hence the motto of the IFAA ‘The World Family of Archers’.

Spectators are more than welcome to come to the event to have a look and see what is involved in the sport. The ASB stadium provides fantastic viewing from an upstairs balcony enabling those who are not shooting to have a bird’s eye view of the event. The shoot off’s are expected to start about 3.30pm on the Friday and will be followed by a banquet and prize giving later in the evening at the Brentwood hotel.

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