Quesnel Two River Archers sent a duo of girls down south to represent zone 8 at the B.C. Winter Games, one of who came back with new jewelry.
Denise Galloway and Kendra Scheck took on the best from around the province after qualifying in Prince George.
Galloway came away from the bronze after four days of shooting in Mission, but both brought back a great experience in competition.
“Walking away with the experience was the best thing – it was something else to share with people, the memories and a place from which you can strive from to make yourself better,” Galloway said.
Both girls went down with high hopes, with Scheck having taken first in qualifying in Prince George. But competition at a provincial level, with media and crowds present, is an entirely new beast, with pressures all its own.
Galloway, however, bloomed under the pressure, starting the competition off in second after the first day of shooting.
“I like the competition it makes me shoot better,” she said.
The second day, however, Denise fell to third, which was still enough to get her through to the finals on Sunday, where she would line up mano-a-mano against her competition.
“Your competition was you and the other girl, so it’s only you two on the line and then there’s everyone behind you watching you shoot,” same said.
With the weight of the crowd behind her, and media and more watchers up front, the finals were something else.
“Sunday you saw the nerves come out,” team coach Cathy Schaefer said.
Galloway’s first shot out was for second place, which she missed by a mere four points, putting her in a shoot out for third, where she managed to snag her bronze.
But the bronze wasn’t the most important thing, Galloway brought back a great experience and a push to continue shooting and aim higher from the games.
“I tried my hardest, and talking to most of the girls there, they’ve been shooting for seven years and those are the girls that got first place,” she said.
“I thought, I’ve only been shooting for three years and my scores are almost as high as hers, which made me pretty happy about what I did.”
Coming out of the competition with a push to move forward and continue on in their chosen sport comes from their great attitude going into the games, which Schick learned from her brother, who had participated in the games himself.
“Have as much fun as you can even if you’re not a winner,” Scheck summed up her attitude.
The games also gave coach Cathy Schaefer more experience, which she thinks will be helpful to better train archers and equip them for big competitions going forward.
The next big competition, the really big one anyway, is the Canada Winter Games coming up in Prince George early next year.
Galloway and the club have their eye on the event, as an event like this doesn’t get much closer to Quesnel than this, and Schaefer has her eye on a few of the young archers she thinks may just have what it takes to get there.