PEI

Veterans take a shot at 'accessible' sport of archery

An archery event for wounded or disabled veterans on P.E.I. was cut short this weekend after new COVID-19 health measures were imposed, but not before they got to hit a few bull's-eyes.

'They could potentially join and train with a goal of going to the Paralympic Games'

Retired service members Sue Goguen (partially hidden), Leslie MacDonald, Daniel Savoie, Kyle Hughes and Kevin Meesters discuss archery techniques during the Soldier On event Saturday. (Corry Esson)

An archery event for wounded or disabled veterans on P.E.I. was cut short this weekend after new COVID-19 health measures were imposed, but not before they got to hit a few bull's-eyes.

The event, called Soldier On, was hosted by the P.E.I. Archery Association to introduce veterans to the sport.

Sunday morning's session was cancelled, but about eight people participated on Saturday in Covehead and they were "super pumped," said Duncan Crawford, head coach of the national Paralympics archery team.

He described the group as "mostly first-timers, a couple had shot years ago… A couple are pretty serious about joining the club and starting to train. All were excited about our facilities and the opportunities."

Cory Esson gives the thumbs-up after hitting the bull's-eye on Saturday. (Dominique Aubert)

Crawford said the para-archery community is relatively small on Prince Edward Island, but is an "accessible" sport.

"It could be that one of them goes: 'Holy cow, this is going to be my new thing,'" he said.

"If it gets them out of the house and gets them involved in a sport, we have a unique opportunity … They could potentially join and train with a goal of going to the Paralympic Games some day."

Crawford said the group got through the bulk of the programming on Saturday. They were scheduled to learn the scoring system and have a mini mock competition on Sunday. 

"We'll have them back when the dust settles," he promised.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Island Morning

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