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Taking aim in the west

A huge day of archery in Perth earlier this month saw more than 120 veterans, families and friends turn out to experience shooting arrows as part of Veteran Sport Australia’s national partnership with Archery Australia.

The event had been hotly anticipated for weeks but then veterans might not have known about the putt putt golf-style archery course that was lying in wait for them.

After some initial coaching on the practice range, veterans and families were led to the challenging 10 ‘hole’ course. Archery targets stood at different lengths and heights on every hole. Getting a good (and in this case a high) score was far from easy.

Family members young and old were pitted against each other.

Rivalries were formed.

Scores were kept.

And you thought regular putt putt golf was hard enough!

Fun for the family

David Bonnor is a serving veteran who’s recently been posted to Western Australia. He came to the event with his wife Kylie and two children.

“When I heard about the Veteran Sport Australia’s archery event, I thought it would be a great distraction from unpacking removalist boxes at home and a chance to get out and try something new as a family,” said David. “I really liked that VSA included the whole family in the day. The VSA staff were friendly and the Archery WA staff were very helpful and patient in teaching our family. Our family had a great day out and we’re forward to more WA-based VSA activities to come.”

Not to miss out, kids (and some game parents) also got to try their hand at hoverball archery and face painting as part of the event and the BBQ was always in full flight.

Thanks to skillful team from Archery WA, veterans were guided through the basics of archery – from getting kitted up to firing shots on the practice range – and got a good feel for the sport.

Rob Turner, Archery Australia’s new High Performance Pathways Manager, was also on hand to cast his eye over participants for any untapped potential.

An overwhelming response

“It was our pleasure to be part of the event,” said Preeti Lamba, who came with her family. “Such events not only bring the community together but also provide a great opportunity for the younger generation to learn important life values like resilience, teamwork and discipline from veterans.”

Kylie Russell, a veteran from the Iraq war who came along with her two boys aged 12 and 10, agreed. “We loved the archery day and we’ll definitely be coming back again.”

LJ Flynn, a former serving veteran also enjoyed the day. “Archery’s a fun activity and it was great that the whole family was all able to take part. Our thanks to Veteran Sport Australia and we’d definitely consider having a go at archery again.”

“It was an awesome day,” said Jon Gibling, a former serving veteran and reservist. “The archery course was fun and it was a great day out for the whole family. My son now wants to take the sport up as a hobby and our family’s going to come back to do archery again together.

“Veteran Sport Australia put on outstanding day for my family,” added Jon. “We all had a great time, everyone was so friendly and accommodating, and the demonstrations were very impressive to say the least. The facilities were perfect. We saw some old friends and colleagues and also got to meet some great new people. Thanks for your efforts and keep up the good work.”

A few new sharp shooters in WA

After a fun day, it looks like local archery clubs around WA might have some new competition on their hands, with lots of enquiries about how to sign up to local archery clubs, get active in the community and start testing new skills.

That might just include a few very sharp shooting veterans.

“We loved the day,” said serving veteran Chris Harmer, who came with his family. “We’re going to look into signing up with our local archery club.”

Special thanks to Archery WA, the Benara Bowmen, and the Whiteman Park Archers for their amazing efforts.

If you’d like to find out more about opportunities in archery, get in touch with us today.