This April, Lac La Biche region will be hosting a national-level archery competition that will surely solidify the region’s place on the map as one of the most recognizable archery centers in the nation.
The Lakeland Archers are hosting the 2022 Canadian 3D Indoor Archery Championship from April 15-17. The hamlet is used to welcoming in archers from far and wide after hosting Worlds in 2019.
Now, the scene will be set at the Bold Center in a couple of weeks. As coach and president of the Lakeland Archers Rene Schaub explained, it’s where the men are separated from the boys and the women from the girls.
“Yes it is exciting,” said Schaub. “The names are coming in. We got around 150 so far with three weeks left. The last time we hosted it was in 2017. And we hosted it at the Bold Center and it’s at the same place we’re having it this year, and we had 297 shooters back then. Things are a little tougher now. But I think we’re still gonna be up there in numbers,” he said.
“I think it’ll be a good success.”
The plan was before COVID to host the event in 2020 or in 2021, but it never materialized. Then Halifax had to renege on their ability to host this year’s event, which allowed the Archers to bid and win over Calgary.
The Lakeland Archers have been around for roughly 30 years with their coach Rene Schaub involved for over 25 of them. He’s seen the club grow from adults to having kids of different ages shoot their bow.
Typically, there are 100 to 150 archers who come out for practices at a facility that is unlike most in the province.
“We have one of the biggest archery facilities in Western Canada, maybe even Canada. We had it built a couple of years ago for when we hosted 2019 Worlds,” he said. “It’s right in the middle of a quarter section of land, where we have over 12 kilometers of trails that we use for our 3D field. And then we have an outdoor feeder range, right on course. So we have one of the best establishments in Alberta.”
Nationals is an event where anyone across the country can apply, and they’ll be assigned to their age category and class.
The 3D event means the competitors will simulate against target animals.
“Anywhere in the animal is five. The vitals are eight. And then there’s a bigger circle inside the vitals, which are 10, which would be like a heart shot. And then a little circle in the middle of that not to be 11. That’s what separates the men from the boys, the ladies from the girls,” said Schaub.
Spectators are welcome to watch the three-day event, which takes place over the Easter weekend. Participants will arrive in Lac La Biche on Friday to check in and practice before the competition begins Saturday morning. That night a banquet is scheduled and on Sunday evening, the awards will be presented.
Lac La Biche is also the site for the national team qualifiers to select the best 24 archers from June 17-19. Rene Schaub, who is also Team Canada’s manager, said they’ll be heading to Italy in September.
In the meantime, the focus is on putting on a smooth and fun event for everyone involved and that involves willing and motivated volunteers to help.
“It would never be possible without a great bunch of volunteers from Lac La Biche County and the area. Because last time we had Worlds, it took hundreds and hundreds of volunteers and we had people going completely out of their way. It was just super,” said Schaub.
Those interested in volunteering can contact Schaub at 780-689-8488.
There is one more week for archers to register, which they can do online.