Established in 2013 in a backyard using homemade PVC bows and shooting at very close distances, The Bahamas Archery Federation, now called World Archery Bahamas, has come a long way.
In April of this year an eight-member delegation led by the current president, David Rahming, and secretary general, Shanta Kerr-Richardson, competed in the Caribbean Developmental Championships in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. At this competition, 13-year-old Samuel Albury won two gold medals and a bronze medal.
Cowayne Comarcho won a bronze medal. Other members of the team included Matthew Newry, Isaac Poitier and Matthew Rahming.
The Federation also had its first athlete compete internationally at 50 meters in Barbados at the Barbados Independence Games. Albury had prepared for this tournament but was unable to make the competition.
However, he was fortunate enough to attend the KSL winter training camp in San Diego, California at the invitation of coach Kisik Lee, head coach of the USA Olympic Archery team. Coach Lee is one of the most successful and knowledgeable archery coaches in the world and the opportunity to train with him was extremely beneficial to the young archer.
President Rahming noted that Albury represented himself and the federation very well with his dedication and intelligence. Albury trains very hard consistently and his hard work has been rewarded with many victories. At this point, he is the most decorated athlete of the federation and is preparing to make an Olympic run in 2024.
Locally, the most dominant archer this year was Rodolfo Pavon of the Bahamas Archery Club, Lyford Cay. He is arguably the most improved athlete of the federation and it is apparent that he has been putting in the necessary training. Ben Jamieson, head coach of Bahamas Archery, explained that Rodolfo has been patiently and consistently training this year and it is not surprising that he has won so many of the local competitions.
However, there are several other federation athletes not willing to permanently concede top archer status to Pavon, including newcomers from the YMCA club in Freeport, Grand Bahama. The YMCA club is the federation’s newest club and has had four new instructors certified this year. The first was Shakeitha Henfield, the then program director and was most instrumental in starting the club. In addition to her, Rohan Parkes and Owen Hanna also completed the level one instructor certification. Efrain Alonso is now the head coach of the YMCA and he has put the Nassau clubs on notice.
Another exciting development for the Federation is the recent certification of three additional new instructors. They include 16-year-old Isaac Poitier who has been one of the instructors in the annual summer camp. President Rahming said he hopes to certify many more instructors capable of delivering summer camps as last year he was unable to fulfill the demand for summer camps due to the lack of sufficient certified instructors. The Federation is excited to welcome coach Nkomo Ferguson of St. Thomas Moore and coach Ricardo Freemantle of St. Francis Joseph to the ranks of federation certified instructors.
A major goal of 2019 is to create an inter-school competition circuit. It is a process that will begin with just a few schools and hopefully grow until it is nationwide from Walkers Cay to Inagua. This program is being developed in conjunction with the Ministry of Education.
The federation intends to continue to slowly grow and develop in the coming years and the 2019 archery season is promising to be very competitive. There are already a number of exciting opportunities planned for 2019 including the third Caribbean Developmental Championships, the KSL Summer Camp and an attempt to qualify for the 2019 Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru.
David Rahming is a Level three National Training System archery coach and can be reached at email@example.com or 525-3799 if you are interested in become a part of the federation’s activities or starting an archery program in your own school, church or club.