P.E.I. Archery Association offering free lessons, leadership training for girls

·2 min read
Kristen Arsenault, shown as a 14-year-old as she qualified for an international competition in 2016, is now herself coaching girls in a new P.E.I. program.  (Natalia Goodwin/CBC  - image credit)
Kristen Arsenault, shown as a 14-year-old as she qualified for an international competition in 2016, is now herself coaching girls in a new P.E.I. program. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC - image credit)

The Prince Edward Island Archery Association is aiming to keep girls playing the sport with a new program.

Island girls aged between 14 and 18 can take part in eight weeks of free archery and leadership training, said Duncan Crawford, of the P.E.I. Archery Association.

"It's an exciting initiative," Crawford told CBC's Mitch Cormier on Island Morning. "Thankfully, we were selected."

The new program being offered is called Game On. It's an initiative by Canadian Women and Sport, a national group whose goal is to "see the enhanced presence of girls and women at all levels and in all areas" of sport.

Kristen Arsenault joins Crawford as a coach in the program. The 18-year-old archer from Abram-Village began playing the sport seven years ago and is excited to have a role in inspiring more girls to nock arrows.

"I really enjoy the independence of it as well as just meeting other people through the sport, and being able to grow as a person and athlete as well," Arsenault said.

"This Game On program is really kind of going to open that opportunity for me to start doing some more coaching, which I'm really excited about."

Very few girls in archery

Arsenault said there aren't many girls in Prince Edward Island showing interest in archery, but she hopes programs like this can change that.

Having participated in provincial and national sports, she said archery can provide international recognition for young athletes — and seeing other girls competing nationally and internationally helps keep her going.

Kristen Arsenault will coach alongside Duncan Crawford of the P.E.I. Archery Association in the Game On program for girls.
Kristen Arsenault will coach alongside Duncan Crawford of the P.E.I. Archery Association in the Game On program for girls.(Jo-Anne Wallace/Twitter)

"It can take you right up to the Olympics, really, if that's your goal and your interest," Arsenault said.

"Being able to go to tournaments within Canada … and even outside Canada, and seeing that there are other girls my age doing this sport is motivation to continue."

Crawford said Prince Edward Islanders have responded well to the program so far, and there are a few spots left.

"We'd be lucky if we can fit one or two more people in," he said. "We are really excited, we are excited to see how it goes and excited to see the outcome."

To enrol in the program, contact the P.E.I. Archery Association via email or telephone.

More from CBC P.E.I.