Auckland Archery Club was host to the 11th Junior Team Tournament on Sunday May 24. Right in the middle of a storm. After a Saturday that rained constantly, parents were hoping the tournament would be cancelled on the Sunday, but a brighter forecast meant the kids would still be able to shoot.
The format, intending to be shared target and field event, was slightly redone so that all target could be shot in the morning, and depending on the weather, the field would be in the afternoon. Fortunately for all involved, the weather played ball and was windy but not raining when the target event started.
Showers spattered the competitors, who came from as far as Mercury Bay, but they were all determined to continue, even those who had come in their pyjamas (to be fair that was their team uniform). The gazebos and helpful parents with umbrellas were an added bonus.
As a team tournament, one of the prizes is for the best team uniform, and this year due to the weather most uniforms had to be shelved in favour of jackets and wet-weather gear. Those in pyjamas and onesies did their best to brave the weather and keep those uniforms on, and the prize eventually went to the Pandora Archers from Shore, who had painted themselves blue and even the rain couldn’t wash it off.
The prize for the best flag went to Fire and Ice, who had taken over almost all of the back wall with their banner, although it was the Minions of Mario that raised the most laughs.
At the conclusion of the target event, the weather situation was reviewed over a BBQ lunch and a fun shoot while the results were entered. The sun came out, the kids were asked if they wanted to continue, and there was an unequivocal yes. Unfortunately one team had to leave early to get home, but the field course was put into place and the teams announced and sent outside.
The afternoon was not as pleasant as the morning, as the wind picked up heavily and there were four or five heavy showers that soaked and chilled. The kids bravely soldiered on and completed the nine targets that were in place, including a swinging target under a tree and a dinosaur!
The field was finished early, by 3pm, and while results were collated, the kids were bundled into the clubhouse, dried off by the fire and given hot milo. Only just in time, for the weather caved in at that point, and the targets were packed up in the pouring rain by Auckland’s team of kind helpers.
The kids declared the tournament a success, and demanded the results.
Individually, the top-scoring archers in each division were:
U20 Recurve: Luke Franklyn
U20 Compound: Jonty Knocker
U14 Recurve: Stephen Stuart
U14 Compound: Harrison Franklyn
For the team event:
Bronze medal went to the X-Men (Vanessa Jim, Kris Coutts, Oliver Madsen and Haoxi Tan)
Silver medal went to the Minions of Mario (Mario Thapliyal, Joshua Webb, Dev Kumar and Jonty Knocker)
And the Gold medal went to the Dream Team (Luke Franklyn, Harrison Franklyn, Charlotte Ware and Talal El-Jack)
The final prize to be awarded is (strangely) the most coveted – the last place-getters receive a set of plastic bows and sucker arrows – which went to the Saturday Sleep-Ins. Better luck next time team!
Thanks to all the volunteers who helped set up and pack down throughout the day, including Nairn Henderson, David Medland-Slater, Krista Holtz, and Peter Russell. Thanks also to the parents and senior archers who came to help out with running the tournament, including Mark van den Anker, Sarah Fuller and Craig Cubitt.
See you all next year!