By: Weber Way To Wellness Reporter
Six varsity archery fitness teams throughout Central Florida in Alicia Weber’s Archery Fitness League converged for a one of kind competition testing physical and mental skills as well as self-motivation, team cohesion, creativity, and originality. The competitors had to qualify to compete in this advanced competition known as the “Ready Aim Go Championship.” Sixty three percent of the competitors called this their first-ever athletic competition and it was also the first time most made a varsity team.
“I have never been to anything like this before and it’s very exciting,” said Janet Kelley one of the nearly one hundred spectators that watched the championship.
The first competition was the Ready Aim Go Championship for ages 7-9 and it was a scaled down version of a longer competition for older students (10-14), which took place immediately after the youth event. In all cases, all the competitors received the same training, trained and competed on the same equipment, and all put in only 7-8 hours of training this fall before competing in this highly advanced event (cross country running bean bag toss relay event followed by a timed barebow category archery event with shooting at various distances for score).
“I am very proud of all my students. They exceeded all the goals I have set for them. Learning to become focused and do these types of multi-tasking events at this age is challenging, but they succeeded with flying colors, literally,” said Event Director and Coach, Alicia Weber who trains all these students in various developmental programs. Some students traveled more than an hour away to compete on November 15th at Sundance Archery Range where archery is sponsored.
All six teams had to create their own identity and team name. Many designed their own shirts as Coach Alicia Weber encourages creativity and originality. Some students wore multicolored shirts with designs.
“We like the creativity of this competition where we design our own shirts and come up with our team name,” agreed the three young ladies on the Diamond Rainbow Husky Archery Team who wore colorfully designed shirts.
Izzy, the team captain, added, “I don’t care about winning. I just care about having fun.”
Ready Aim Go Championship (ages 7-9) Highlights
The fitness relay event tested running ability, reaction time, throwing skills, and accuracy to toss a bean bag in a bucket under pressure. Most importantly, the fitness event was selected to build team cohesion, while the archery tested individual focus and self-motivation. The older group was also challenged with a steady NE wind, which appeared at 10:30am with 15-20mph wind gusts.
“I feel excited and really glad that we won. It took a lot of work because of the wind, but it was a very good experience for our team. The format of the competition and the training leading up to it made our team become closer friends,” said Sebastian representing “The Rubies” on the winning team in the (age 10-14) championship competition.
In the first championship (ages 7-9), the Shadow Arrows won with a 12 point lead. The male archery winner was Colin from the Shadow Arrows, while the female archery winner was Ryele from the Diamond Rainbow Husky Archers. The girls had a 21 percent lead in the fitness event, but the boys from the Shadow Arrows gained ground in the archery to win the competition where the fitness and archery carried equal weight in the scoring.
In the second championship event (ages 10-14), the coed team of The Rubies tied with the girls team known as The Secret Service. It came down to the “x” in archery to determine the winner and The Rubies got two “X” dead center points in the archery competition to take the win with a final score of 504xx.
The top male archer was Bryce from the X Shots and the top female archer was Indaya from the Secret Service.
The X-Shots had the leading fitness score with the fastest relay time of the day of 46 seconds for the 3x100yd bean bag toss cross country relay.
Ready Aim Go Championship (ages 10-14) Highlights
“I liked everything about this competition. The archery was tough, but the running was not difficult. I felt very good for our team to win the run and go into the archery with more confidence. It was my first competition and I can’t wait to compete in the next one,” exclaimed the highly-motivated Lilly of the X Shots who opted to compete in the harder competition when she is under 10 years old.
“I was so surprised to come here and see Lilly do this very advanced competition. I think it is excellent,” remarked her great grandmother.
The Fierce Fighters worked double duty in the championship (ages 10-14) as they had a two person team. Aisha ran two legs of the relay with Kevin. They both are new archers and have shown great improvements after their 8 hours of training to compete for the first time in top form. They finished in a very close 4th place team (just 8 ½ points from 3rd place team).
Some competitors liked the fitness and archery events the same, others liked archery the best, while still others like the fitness event the best. However, one thing is certain that they all are looking forward to the next competition.
“It was a fantastic event. All the kids had fun, the event was well-organized, and it was a very positive event. I am looking forward to more events,” said Kyle Caracciolo-Clayton.
In Spring 2016, there will be youth and adult developmental programs, which provide a free competition. “We thank our sponsor, Clermont’s Papa John’s Pizza, for providing the pizza for the championship,” said Weber.
For more info on the Developmental programs contact Awinningway@gmail.com
END OF REPORT