Mercedes V., one of the volunteers who helped during the World Archery Masters Championships, gives in this article she wrote her point of view on the event.
I was asked to be a volunteer at the World Archery Masters Championships Lausanne 2018 and I accepted, not really knowing what to expect. I must admit that a new world opened to me.
I saw myself wandering amongst archers who were delighted to be part of this exceptional competition, taking place for the first time at the World Archery Excellence Centre. I started interviewing some of the archers and soon discovered that, unlike other sports, some of the athletes (who are all over 40) had only taken up archery about 5 years prior to this event. John Keenan from Ireland, whom I met at the field competition, started archery seven years ago when he retired and won his category. Don’t you agree that this is incredible? What other sports allow you to reach that level without starting in the cradle?
Looking closer at the competition, I realised that there were three main types of bows:
The Longbow, entirely made of wood, reminding me of the cow-boy and Indians films. I asked Daniel Stafford from California why he chose this bow. He answered that it had a taste of childhood; he used to shoot this bow as a child with his father. He stopped archery for many years and took it up later. He loves this more instinctive type of shooting. The object is beautiful, light and I must say, cheaper than the others. The only drawback is that it does not shoot as far.
The recurve or classical bow is the most used in Europe. The reflex/deflex design of the limbs allows the archer to shoot faster. They are made of an aluminium or magnesium alloy, and they are demountable which is very practical when you travel. You may have already seen it, with its many stabilisers! It is thinner, with many setting possibilities, it is however heavier and more expensive.
Most people take up that bow because it is the Olympic one. After all, I have met some people who took part in the Olympic Games, like Juan Carlos Echevarria, who was in the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984.
The Compound bow. This bow is magical! It allows the archer to multiply its power by 40% to 60%, it is difficult to set but it is very accurate. I met a group of three lively Irish friends who explained that it was less strenuous on the arms and shoulders and that it simply allowed them to continue practicing archery.
One thing that I am retaining from this beautiful experience at the World Archery Excellence Centre is that all the experienced archers coming from 44 different countries have found our facilities to be one of, if not the best in the world. There was a warm welcome and the atmosphere between the competitors is very friendly. As Pedro Santos from Portugal said: “It puts you in a good mood for shooting”.
The World Archery Excellence Centre is hosting the first World Archery Masters Championships from August 14 to 18.