In April, the Lac La Biche area will host a national level archery competition that will surely cement the area’s place on the map as one of the most recognizable archery centers in the world. country.
The Lakeland Archers are hosting the 2022 Canadian 3D Indoor Archery Championships from April 15-17. The hamlet is used to welcoming archers from afar after hosting the Worlds in 2019.
Now, the scene will take place at the Bold Center in a few weeks. As Lakeland Archers coach and president Rene Schaub explained, this is where the men are separated from the boys and the women from the girls.
“Yeah, it’s exciting,” Schaub said. “Names are coming. We have received around 150 so far with three weeks remaining. The last time we hosted it was in 2017. And we hosted it at the Bold Center and that’s the same place we have it this year, and we had 297 shooters at the time. Things are a little more difficult now. But I think we’re still going to be up there in numbers,” he said.
“I think it will be a good success.”
The plan was before COVID to host the event in 2020 or 2021, but it never materialized. Then Halifax had to give up their ability to host this year’s event, which allowed the Archers to bid and defeat Calgary.
The Lakeland Archers have been around for about 30 years and their coach Rene Schaub has been in over 25 of them. He has seen the club grow from adults to kids of different ages shooting their bows.
Typically there are 100 to 150 archers who come to train at a facility that is different from most in the province.
“We have one of the largest archery facilities in Western Canada, maybe even Canada. We had it built a few years ago when we hosted the 2019 Worlds,” he said. “It’s right in the middle of a quarter section of land, where we have over 12 kilometers of trails that we use for our 3D field. And then we have a range of outdoor feeders, which are right on target. So we have one of the best facilities in Alberta.
Nationals is an event where anyone across the country can apply, and they will be assigned to their age category and class.
The 3D event means competitors will simulate against target animals.
“Anywhere in the animal is five. The vital signs are eight. And then there’s a bigger circle inside the vital signs, which is 10, which would be like a heart stroke. And then a little circle in the middle of that so it’s not 11. That’s what separates the men from the boys, the ladies from the girls,” Schaub said.
Spectators are invited to watch the three-day event, which takes place over the Easter weekend. Participants will arrive at Lac La Biche on Friday to check in and practice before the start of competition on Saturday morning. That evening a banquet is planned and on Sunday evening the prizes will be awarded.
Lac La Biche is also the site of the national team qualifiers to select the top 24 archers from June 17-19. Rene Schaub, who is also the manager of Team Canada, said they will travel to Italy in September.
In the meantime, the focus is on running a smooth and fun event for everyone involved and one that involves willing and motivated volunteers to help out.
“This would never be possible without a good group of volunteers from Lac La Biche County and the region. Because the last time we had Worlds, it took hundreds and hundreds of volunteers and we had people who completely went out of their way. It was just great,” Schaub said.
Those interested in volunteering can contact Schaub at 780-689-8488.
Archers have one week left to register, which they can do online.