Airdrie or Rocky View County residents can summon their inner Robin Hood or Legolas on Sept. 18, at a local event celebrating and promoting the sport of archery.
As part of Archery Canada’s annual Archery Day promotion, RVC resident Rick Smollett is hosting a showcase of the sport and a come-try-it event at his residence, located at 20175 Township Road 274, just northwest of Airdrie city limits.
“We’re going to put on an event here on our property, in association with the Jim-Bows Juniors [Archery Club],” said Smollett, who is the secretary for Archery Alberta as well as a sanctioned judge for the organization.
“If people want to come and see what the sport of archery is all about, they’re more than welcome.”
According to Archery Canada's website, Archery Day is held on the third Saturday of each September, offering members of the public the opportunity to shoot some arrows and learn more about the sport.
“We’re hoping to have a few people here, maybe have a barbecue and some fun and games along with it,” Smollett said.
In addition to the opportunity to fire a few arrows and gobble up some food, Smollett said the Sept. 18 gathering will also be a sanctioned Archery Canada shoot. That means attendees will be able to register beforehand if they are interested in submitting their scores to the sport’s national body, for ranking purposes.
“We’ve got a couple of shoots registered with Archery Canada, one being a 900 – that consists of 30 arrows at three different distances – and that’s followed by an afternoon field round, which is 24 different distances throughout the property,” Smollett said.
For Smollet, archery is not just a hobby but a passionate family affair. His son Andrew, 19, competes internationally in the sport, and recently travelled as far as Wroclaw, Poland to take part in the 2021 World Archery Youth Championships.
According to Smollett, Andrew finished 40th in his competing class in Poland, but his son took solace in the fact there were more than 100 competitors comprised of some of the best archers in the world, and that his qualifying score was the highest any Canadian archer had registered in 30 years.
“While he was standing on the line in Poland, he said, ‘These are the best archers from around the world,’ and he realized he was one of them,” Smollett said of his son's performance. “I think there were nine of them who had just finished competing in the Olympics.”
As for what makes archery a great sport, Smollett said it is a fun activity that people can participate in at almost any age.
“It’s a lifelong sport,” he said. “How much you put into the sport, you’ll get out of the sport. There’s great camaraderie, friendships are made, and you can travel with it as much or as little as you want.”
According to Smollett, registration to participate in the Sept. 18 shoots on his property can be done at archerycanada.ca. Those who are only interested in checking out the event do not need to register beforehand.