We’re proud to be partnering with Archery Canada to celebrate Archery Day in Canada on Saturday, September 19. This year, Archery Canada is sharing stories of archers on their archery journey.
Every great journey has a beginning. In archery, those beginnings can be as simple and fun as picking up your first bow at summer camp. With others, the journey starts later in life with a friend introducing you to their passion – which soon becomes your passion.
For Dawson Oderkirk, his journey began after a cross-country move with his family from New Brunswick to Saskatoon in 2016. While there was some culture shock from the move from the Maritimes to the Prairies, Oderkirk soon a place where he felt at home – the Viscount Archery Club. "I was originally planning to get involved in a social group and give me something to do when it got super cold,” said Oderkirk, “But it turned out to be so much more.”
Oderkirk has quickly risen the ranks in Canadian archery. Recently, Oderkirk made the move from Saskatoon to Ontario to train with Joan MacDonald as a Junior archer with the Canadian National Team. “Right now, I'm really looking forward to the USATs in the States next year, and I'm really looking forward to the upcoming nationals in PEI!”
While great journeys all have beginnings, they also have something else – a great mentor or guide. “My advice for someone starting archery would be to find a coach or a mentor,” said Oderkirk. “It'll help shooting be a more enjoyable experience and it will help you avoid injury.”
Having someone to help you learn the basics and give you direction to progress is very important. “I was lucky enough to have a bunch of great mentors help me along the way, and I wouldn't be here without them.” Oderkirk recommends doing your research and asking other archers for their recommendations on coaches and mentors. “Do your research and trust your coach.”
One other thing Oderkirk recommends is gear maintenance and tuning. “One of the main reasons I use BOWdometer is tuning,” added Oderkirk. “The ability to watch the pattern of the readings change as I make adjustments makes finding settings like brace height an absolute breeze. Within a few arrows I can find my ideal setting, and I know it's spot on.”