Talon Baptiste, Taylor Baptiste and Alex Rousseau hit the target for three medals in archery at the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG).
Both Baptistes won bronze, while Rousseau was golden shooting with a traditional bow at NAIG held in Regina in late July. Rousseau, a member of the Osoyoos Traditional Archery School, finished five sessions and scored 648. A press release by the Aboriginal Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Partners Council reported that Rousseau posted the best score in each of the first three sessions of the under-19 traditional, then secured victory with solid scores in the final two sessions.
“Winning a gold medal in archery at NAIG was quite the experience,” said Rousseau,18, via email. “It was by far the toughest competition I’ve been to.”
Rousseau said it was an honour to be with the top shooters. The biggest competition Rousseau faced was the target he was aiming for as each animal target comes with another set of calculations.
“The best part of archery to me was always meeting new people,” he wrote. “I spent hours simply talking to all sorts of archers. Archers and coaches from across Canada congregated in Regina, there is no better time than that to discuss what we all love to do.”
Competing in the under-19 compound category, Taylor, 17, ran up a score of 696, while Talon, 13, had 408 in the under-16 traditional category. Both girls took up archery in 2013 with Twisted Arrows Archery in the Osoyoos Indian Band.
Talon said being at NAIG was interesting.
“It was quite the privilege,” she said of competing. “It was also overwhelming. Just so many people.”
Talon went into NAIG with no medal expectations as she competed amongst a friendly group. What she enjoyed most was spending time with her group.
The OIB had five kids compete while representing Team B.C.
After NAIG, the group traveled to Lac La Biche, Alta., to compete at nationals. While there, Talon won gold as she was the only competitor in her group.