Record-breaking spring for PB Outreach admin assistant

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Ann Neumeyer wears her National Mail Match gold medal. On the wall beside her are plaques from her recent FITA record and her provincial title.

A Palliser administrative assistant has had a record-breaking spring pursuing her passion for archery.

Ann Neumeyer, who works at Picture Butte Outreach School, has set two provincial records and won no less than four gold medals in competitions since March alone.

Most recently, in early May, she won gold in a National Mail Match. Competitors across Canada shoot and record scores weekly over 13 weeks. Competitors’ top six scores are averaged and ranked with Neumeyer coming out on top for Master (over 50) Female competitors using a compound bow.

Her average score was 280 out of 300.

Other golds came at Indoor Target events and 3D archery events. She set two provincial records at Indoor Target Provincial and National events.

She only took up the sport eight years ago, after her son, Erik, discovered his dad Ray’s old archery equipment tucked away in a basement. Erik was soon travelling to archery competitions, but it wasn’t until Ray bought a left-handed bow for their daughter Leeann that Ann finally gave archery a try. After a couple years of coaxing, the left-handed Ann took a shot and was hooked.

“My husband told me I was a natural,” she says, laughing.

She started competing in 3D archery, where competitors travel elaborate courses with three-dimensional foam rubber targets in the shape of wildlife tucked away in trees and other obstacles. It was only a few years ago she tried target shooting. Target shooting is held on an open field with set distances from 30 to 70 metres, and archers shooting at paper-faced targets of different sizes mounted on about 1.2-metre square target butts. Field archery is a combination of the 3D-style course, while shooting at paper. 

Shooting is just one aspect of the sport, Neumeyer says. Judging distance is also key to success, when shooting 3D archery.

“I just enjoy the challenge,” she says. “It’s kind of like golf. Every time I go to a tournament, I want to get a better score than last time.”

She says the archery community is tight knit and offers great camaraderie. It’s a sport anyone can do at virtually any age.

A member of the Picture Butte Fish and Game Archery Club, Neumeyer has had an opportunity to travel internationally thanks to the sport she loves. In 2011, she successfully applied to serve as team leader for Canada’s national 3D archery team, accompanying competitors to Austria.

She was asked to come back as team leader a second time, travelling to Italy with the Canadian team in October.

This year she’s hoping to join the national 3D archery team as a competitor, headed for a 2015 competition in France, and a field target team that will compete internationally in 2016. The location of the competition isn’t yet known.

If any students or adults are interested in trying archery, Picture Butte Fish and Game Indoor Range will open for registration at 7 p.m., Sept. 8 or visit the Picture Butte Archery Association on Facebook for information and upcoming events. The association runs a Junior Archery program for ages eight to 18 on Monday nights starting in September. Adult archery programs begin in November.

Lethbridge is also home to the Lethbridge Bowbenders Archery Club, also on Facebook

If you’re interested in learning more about archery, please contact Neumeyer at (403) 593-8761.