Kilkenny archers figured among the honours at the recent All-Ireland indoor archery championships.
The Na Laoch Dall archery club (Waterford) and Kilmore archery club (Armagh), via satellite, linked-up at the two clubs premises and hosted the championships which attracted participants from all over Ireland and abroad.
There were winner not only from both ends of the country, but also from such far flung places as Hungary, Slovakia and Holland.
Kilkenny club Warbow Ireland was represented by Gavyn Blanchfield and his two sisters, Jennifer and Gwen Blanchfield, Sophie Maher and their coach Jim Waters.
After winning the All-Ireland cub (under-13) compound bow division last December, Gavyn, who turned 13 on Christmas day, competed in the junior (under-17) compound bow division for the first time. This would be a big test for the reigning cub European champion because he was up against older archers.
Gavyn wasn’t a bit phased. He won the gold medal in his class with six pionts to spare.
His sister Jennifer competed in the junior bowhunter recurve class for the first time also. She shot an excellent score and won gold. Jennifer has really gone from strenght to strenght since starting in the sport six months ago.
Gwen competed in the cub barebow compound class and outshot every one in her class to bring the third All-Ireland gold to Kilkenny. This was also her first All-Ireland shoot.
Sophie Maher shot really well in the cub barebow recurve class to capture a bronze medal. Their coach Jim Waters was delighted with the wins for team Warbow, describing them as a fantastic achievement.
The win for Gavyn in the older age group and longer distance was phenomenal for his age, he felt.
“Our club Warbow is growing in membership each month and we are going to have a very busy year starting with the World indoor mail match (WIMM) next week,” he added.
Meanwhile, Gavyn and Jennifer shot in their first IAAA (Archery Ireland) compitition at the weekend, hosted by Wicklow Archers in the Shoreline leisure centre, Greystones
It was a double FITA 18 in which archers had to shoot 120 arrows at spot targets. The hectic action got underway at 10.30am and it didn’t finish until after 4.30pm.
It was a very testing day for the 80 archers and was the first calendar shoot of the year. Gavyn scored another good win and broke the 1000 point mark to set a new Irish record in the Cadet (under-17) compound bow division.
Jennifer also scored a win in the Cadet category and set a new Irish record in the barebow recurve division. Conor Krenshaw finished fourth in the Cadet recurve division.
The next IAAA compitition is on February 18, which is a double FITA 18 hosted by Dublin archers.