World Archery Commonwealth

Archery in the Commonwealth

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Meeting 31 August '09 Ulsan Korea

MEETING OF COMMONWEALTH COUNTRIES TO DISCUSS THE POSSIBILITY OF RE-ESTABLISHING AN ARCHERY ASSOCIATION

Lotte Hotel, Ulsan, Korea, 31 August 2009.

Mrs Lynne Evans MBE, Chairman of Archery GB welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Countries represented:

Australia

Bangladesh

Canada

Cyprus

Great Britain

Malta

India

New Zealand

Singapore

South Africa.

Represented by proxy Fiji, Malaysia, Norfolk Island, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and the countries that make up the United Kingdom group.

 

Attending for the first part of the meeting were FITA Secretary General Tom Dielen and the competition manager of the archery section of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi Ms Zhang Xiuzhi.

 

Tom Dielen thanked India for its work to date including the early initiatives in 1990s and then again in 2006 as a lead-in to restoring archery to the Commonwealth Games.

 

He noted that FITA had signed an agreement to co-operate with the Commonwealth Games Federation, the first International Federation to do so and this had been endorsed by FITA Congress.

 

Archery is in the group of sports that an Organising Committee may include as an option and the aim is to move it into the mandatory category.  It was critical to India, to any Commonwealth Archery Association and to FITA that the tournament in Delhi in 2010 be a success.  If this was so, it was still possible that archery could be included in the Glasgow Games in 2014.

 

FITA, through the competition manager, and the Technical Delegate Dion Buhagiar, from Malta, with support from Juan-Carlos Holgardo, will provide the technical and operational expertise.  The DOS and Judges will be appointed by FITA from Commonwealth countries where possible.

 

Ms Zhang Xiuzhi noted the facilities were a little behind schedule but expected them to be completed in time for the test event which will take place 7-14 March 2009. She hoped as many countries as possible will participate so the systems, people organisation and facilities can be truly tested.  Still under consideration is the possibility that the organisers may meet the accommodation and food costs for entrants in the Test Event. In response to a question Zhang Xiuzhi said she was not certain if there would be appropriate facilities for para-archers but would check.

 

India strongly supported the call for entries because it is important for the Archery Association of India for the Archery competition of the Games to be successful and also for FITA which is backing this important multi-sport Games.   Good numbers and top quality archers will be necessary for a top class competition. He appealed to the larger nations to assist the smaller countries where possible.

 

Lynne Evans thanked FITA and particularly Tom Dielen for all the assistance in supporting this gathering and the concept of a Commonwealth Archery Association which would be under the FITA umbrella.

 

One of a number of reasons for having a Commonwealth Archery Association is to be part of the Para-Archery and Youth development opportunities which will help strengthen archery world-wide.  She noted that Solidarity funding may be accessed by Member Associations to assist preparation for the Games.

 

General

To make the Test Event successful there would not be a limit on the number of archers each country could send (3 per division for the Games itself) and if entries were not full, any FITA Member Association would be able to send archers even if not a member of the Commonwealth.

 

The tournament would be a FITA 70m round (qualification) followed by an Olympic round (match play). The Qualification and Elimination rounds would be held at the Archery centre at the Yamuna Sports Complex and the finals at the iconic India Gate.

 

There was further discussion, particularly from India, about the importance of as many FITA Commonwealth members as possible participating in the Games with their top archers.

 

That for many of the smaller Commonwealth archery nations the Games would be an ideal opportunity to compete internationally where the Olympic Games and World Cups, for example, were beyond their means.

 

A Commonwealth Association would indicate that archery was serious about being a regular feature of the Games

 

Australia noted that Queensland was putting forward a bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Archery Australia was working to have archery included as part of the bid programme. A template for bids would be helpful.

New Zealand noted that there was a feasibility study underway for a possible bid for the 2018 Games and negotiations were in progress to have archery within the bid if it proceeds.

 

Where to next?

South Africa asked if we were in general agreement to proceed towards the establishment of a Commonwealth Association; if so, South Africa wished to participate in promoting it.

Great Britain and New Zealand also indicated a willingness to continue working towards this objective.

It was suggested that an interim group be established which would report within a month or so.

There would be a small financial contribution from the United Kingdom to start the network.

 

All the countries present agreed they wished to proceed with the planning for a Commonwealth Archery Association as did Lynne Evans on behalf of the British Group and Carole Hicks on behalf of the Oceania countries and Malaysia noted in the “proxy” group above.

 

The notes of the meeting would be circulated as soon as possible with a draft plan for progressing the work. The next meeting could be held in conjunction with the Test event and a formal initiating Congress during the Commonwealth Games in October 2010.

 

Carole A Hicks