Updated: Apr 3, 2020
Article by Harrison Coyne. Video by Agnieszka Pajor and Harrison Coyne
November 16th, 2019 Shākāt Team attended the 2020 Arctic Winter Games archery tryouts at the Takhini Elementary School. The event was filled with young athletes and curious youth interested in the art of archery. More on this event we spoke with Gael Marchand.
“I'm Gael Marchand and I’m the Executive Director of the Yukon Aboriginal Spot Circle here in Whitehorse. Tonight we are having an ID camp for Arctic Winter Games and North American Indigenous Games 2020, that are both having archery competitions in compound bow and bare bow categories. We are trying to flag whose kids who are interested in competing so we can get them into training programs so they can develop skills towards the games.
We are hunting for talent but most importantly we’re hunting for interest and passion. Archery is a precision sport. So we must look at who is interested, who has passion, and then see if we can train them. If they have skills, that's good, if they just have commitment and discipline, that will work as well. In fact, might work better.
We're trying to make a training Squad. So the training Squad will be roughly about 25 people down the road. When the time comes, we'll only have eight people going to Arctic Winter Games and eight going to North American Indigenous Games. So 16 in total. However, we need alternates in case someone get injured. So we start with a Squad of around 20-25. Sometimes the youth don't make it to the Games, but there’s a chance they will make it to the provincial showings in BC and to other competitions.”
“Hello my name is Jessie Kates and I'm from Whitehorse. I've been doing it since I was like probably 10 or 11, so seven years. My dad got me into it first. When I was 14, he told me there's a an archery team and that I should try it out. It was at 8:00 in the morning. I was just like, okay sure. Why not. Went to it, then I got on team, and then I tried it for NEG. Luckily, I got second place in it. Right now we’re here just practicing for what the teams are going to be for Arctic Winter Games. For those who are considering joining archery, I say try it out. It would be really fun to get more people into it and it would be a really good experience for everyone."