By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Sports globally is on a standstill because of COVID-19, but virtual competitions in Archery have put Virgin Islands archers on the field to ‘pull ‘em back and let ‘em fly’ as their motto says.
On the HLSCC campus in Paraquita Bay on Sunday.
Four VI Archery Association members—Ritiseeniyah Georges, Javlyn Frett, Michaela Potter and Winette Lawrence—who now represents Guyana—competed against their European and Americans counterparts in Compound and Recurve disciplines. They had mixed results as compared to previous competitions in the virtual series.
“It wasn’t good for me at all, lowest score ever, 563,” Lawrence who competed in Compound told Island Sun Sports. “My aim was actually 700 but I had a lot of trouble. The last time I shot, my stabilizer broke, so the one I’m using, I’m not accustomed to. The stabilizer helps hold the weight of the bow and helps to stable your hand as you shoot.”
Lawrence was eight in her last outing. “Today, I finished 12th at the bottom of the pack,” she said. “The bow sight is twisted which I didn’t realize, so I need a stabilizer. Without a proper stabilizer, it throws everything off.”
Potter, who shoots Recurve along with Frett, said she had a better day on Sunday as compared to last week.
“I got to beat my 419 score from last time—I had 490 and I was ninth in the group,” she said. “This week I was more determined to beat the score that I did the first time in Stage 7. I had equipment problems thought. For some reason, I had problems with my bow. When I shot my arrow, all of a sudden, my sight—an add on that to the bow that allows you to aim properly when shooting far distances—kept moving. As a result, my arrows kept going downwards from where I wanted them to go.”
Potter’s counterpart Frett said she did a lot better than last week but fell in the group rankings.
“In total, last week was 590, this week was 509,” she noted. “There were lots of improvements for me in many different ways,” Frett said. “I was more focused on the archers that were shooting before me and I was trying to compete more with their scores instead of focusing on how my process was going, with me being here and shooting.”
When asked if she can block out listening to the scores coming across, Frett said it’s difficult, because you always have it in the back of your mind that you’re not just shooting against yourself, your teammate anymore, but against people around the world.
“You’re in this competition and it’s not just the BVI,” she noted. “It is big.”
Georges like Lawrence, shot compound and was pleased with her score as she did better than her last 30m outing in Puerto Rico.
“My score today was 644 and I was 9th of 12 competitors,” she noted. “I have to practice, that’s the only way to get better. I have to lock down the time to practice, get up my number of arrows that I shoot a week and I’ll get there.”
While a little more practice could have helped her get in the 660s, Georges said that in her last two ends of the entire qualification, she realized that she was a lane off of where she was supposed to be and realize it too late.
“I didn’t think it would have made a difference but it actually did, because when I moved, I realize that I was more center,” she explained. “If I’d moved earlier, maybe, but I’d say just more practice.”