The Winter 2019 Biannual Virgin Islands Archery Championships will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7, at Isaac Gatewood James Park in Frederiksted with open practice beginning at 8 a.m. Scoring will begin at 9 a.m. for those shooting a full 72 arrows, while those shooting only 36 should begin to arrive at 10 a.m.
The tournament is co-sponsored by St. Croix Archery, the Virgin Islands Archery Federation (VIAF), and the Department of Planning and Natural Resources’ (DPNR) Fish and Wildlife archery program, funded by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
December is an exciting month for archery across the world as the Olympic qualification process continues. For elite archers from the Islands, this tournament will be one of the last at which they can practice their skills before the final Americas qualifier in March to be held in Monterrey, Mexico, while beginners and intermediates from the region have a chance to measure their improvement over the summer and fall.
These tournaments are held following international rules and provide opportunities for archers to experience and practice international competition. Distances are set at 15 meters for beginners and NASP archers, increasing all the way up to 70 meters for advanced archers.
Given its relatively low cost, archery is quickly growing across the Caribbean, with countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Guyana quickly gaining regional notoriety as they continue to field archers who do well on the international stage. The Virgin Islands Archery Federation hopes that the USVI will soon be included in the list of notable Island archery nations.
Admission is free to watch and anyone wanting to come out to inquire about the sport are encouraged to do so. Those with their own bow and arrows can participate in the tournament so they can meet World Archery standards. Isaac Gatewood James Park, St. Croix’s permanent archery facility, is located just around the bend from the old Brugal Rum Factory in Frederiksted.
A pre-tournament “friendly” will be held on Thursday, Dec. 5, at the park beginning at 4 p.m. for those wishing to practice or to have their equipment evaluated for Saturday. Inquiries can be made on St. Croix Archery’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/stcroixarchery/) or email to [email protected].