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Exciting Updates from the Yukon Territory

September 29, 2021
Exciting Updates from the Yukon Territory

Gael Marchand, Executive Director of the Yukon Aboriginal Sport Circle, provides these exciting updates on archery development in the Yukon Territory.

This fall, the Yukon Aboriginal Sport Circle (one of the two Aboriginal run Archery PTSBs in Canada) is pleased to be moving to its next stage in archery development for all Yukoners.

Over the last few years, we have successfully transitioned out of an old volunteer- and amateur-based model to a modern structure with paid instructors and consistent professional trainings. This allowed us to offer more quality programs to be on par with all the other leading sports, such as gymnastics or swimming, for example. It also ensured that we now consistently meet the latest sports evolutions in terms of standards and coaching. Finally, this now allows us to look at developing and testing innovative tools and programing in archery.

To support these new developments, we are very pleased to now have 2 more full-time archery coaches on payroll and to add coaches coming from high performance background in our sport. Sheila Madahbee is Ojibwe from Ontario and a compound shooter. She competed in several international events, including representing Team Canada at the World 3D Championships in 2009. Ilgin Kizilgunesler is an Olympic recurve shooter and was part of the Turkish national team for several years, she competed at the World Youth Championships in 2011, and in the European circuit. They will both allow us to move forward with our competitive stream, and to bring higher quality coaching and experience to newcomers to archery right from the beginning.

We also have acquired several archery-specific biofeedback analysis platforms, not only to increase the quality of our coaching, but also to use cutting-edge tools that will appeal to our younger archers. One of the great benefits of these platforms is to allow remote coaching for our distant communities that will have access to our best coach without having to travel all the time, or when travel is banned owing to COVID-related reasons. A video presentation of these tools is available here. These will be set up in communities and connected to our main platform in the new indoor full-time archery venue we have secured for the next 3 years.

In terms of new projects, we are currently looking at developing resources to include and promote the Aboriginal component in Archery with presentations and resources, as well as with on the land or community-based seminars for youth to connect or reconnect with archery and bow hunting history and traditions.

Hopefully, within the next few years we will see results from these new initiatives and will be able to share some of the lessons learnt.