44 contest 1st Caribbean Development Championships
Header and body photo courtesy of Howard Phillips.
Forty-four archers competed at the first Caribbean Development Championships in Puerto Rico during the first few days in May, marking one of the steps in World Archery America’s long-term strategic plan to grow archery in the region.
"The first Caribbean Development Championships were very successful. We had five participant countries and two of them, the Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands, competed internationally for the first time. Archers enjoyed the competition and learned a lot about what it is to shoot an archery tournament,” said World Archery Americas President Maria Emma Gaviria.
As well as the Bahamas and British Virgin Islands, teams from Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Trinidad and Tobago were in attendance.
“A lot is still to be done, but we have identified areas in which these federations need assistance, and we are working on devising the tools to provide them the help they need,” Gaviria added.
The continental Federation also welcome Martinique and Guadeloupe, two French territories in the Caribbean, as World Archery Americas associate members. The two new teams will take part in the First Qualifier for the Central American and Caribbean Games in Guatemala on 29 June to 4 July.
Contested over 30 metres, the recurve and compound archers shot a 72-arrow ranking round and a variety of matchplay events.
To motivate the up-and-coming athletes, mixed teams were formed of a similarly-aged male and female but not necessarily from the same country, in a similar style to the Youth Olympic Games, as the pairs were chosen based on individual qualification scores.
“Shooting for the first time at an international event was an amazing experience for me. Being among all these great archers made me feel inspired. I learned that even if you are behind, if you put your mind into it and focus, you can take home the prize,” said Shania Daigneault, from the British Virgin Islands, who won the compound cadet women’s category after only seven months of practice.
Recurve junior men’s bronze medallist Adriel Singh, also from the British Virgin Islands, said he started archery in March 2016 because he wanted to try something hat required good coordination skills.
“Shooting here was a great experience. At first, I was nervous but as the competition continued I felt more confident. Competition requires a lot of focus and it’s very nerve wracking,” said Adriel.
The second edition of the Caribbean Development Championships is scheduled for 2018.
The Juan Enrique Barrios Cup 2017 took place from 30 April to 5 May in Manati, Puerto Rico.