Local archers Emerie Watson, 16, and Sydney Watson, 23, returned with high standings from the 2017 Canadian Target Championships last week.
The Championships took place in Brossard, Quebec, Aug. 8-13.
Sisters Emerie and Sydney competed in the target competition, and Emerie also shot in the field archery competition, during which she traipsed through the trees with her bow and arrow, shooting targets at different distances.
Emerie returned with a silver medal in the Cadet Women’s Field category and a bronze in Cadet Women’s Target.
Sydney came sixth in the Senior Women’s category, returning to the sport this year after a hiatus to concentrate on post-secondary school.
Both girls have been shooting since they were four or five.
“We’ve been doing this since we were able to pull back a bow,” said Emerie.
“This was my fourth nationals. The competition gets me excited; I still get nervous, but mostly excited.”
Sydney said the Championships were good experience after her break from archery.
“It was my first big shoot in six years because I’ve been going to school. I had lost my form, so I had to get that back and I’ve changed it. I had the same form for years but I’ve just changed everything about it.”
For Emerie, the Canadian Championships were a step on her journey to the 2017 World Archery Youth Championships in Rosario, Argentina, which take place Oct. 2-8.
The 16-year-old qualified for the international competition last year, and said going to nationals this year was part of her training.
“My team that’s going to Worlds was all in Quebec, so I got to meet them.
“I’m looking forward to the experience. It’s my first time going so I’m not expecting to perform amazingly because I’ll be very nervous. But I’m going to go and hopefully shoot my best.”
Both Emerie and Sydney say they practise most days, and they come from a long line of archery enthusiasts: their father, grandfather and grandmother all shoot.
Beyond this year’s competitions, both girls hope to continue to shoot long term.
Sydney said she’s hoping to forge a career from her passion for archery.
“I’m going to get my coaching [qualification] next year, so hopefully I’m going to coach and get a job in it. There are lots of opportunities.”
Emerie said if compound bows, which she uses, are ever allowed in the Olympics, making the Olympic team will be her goal. Currently the sporting body only allows recurve bows, which aren’t as powerful and require a different set of technical skills.
Whether or not she’ll have the chance to qualify at that level, Emerie says she’ll continue to compete.
“It’s a sport you can do all your life. I’m never not going to do it, I can guarantee that.”