Seven young Richmond archers have qualified for this year’s BC Winter Games and are preparing to head to the competition in February.
The BC Winter Games are B.C.’s multi-sport event for athletes ages 15 to 17, which take place every two years.
This year, the competitions are being held in Vernon from Feb. 24 to 27.
This year, Gum Ying Richmond Archery Club is sending two athletes, Arianna Tham and Brayden Fung, to compete in the barebow category, while five athletes, Nathania So, Brendan Chan, Jamison Hui, Gavin Ng and Markus Tai will be competing in the Olympic Recurve category.
Thomas Lok, an archery coach at Gum Ying Richmond Archery Club, said it was a surprise to be sending seven athletes to the Games this year.
“I’m so proud to be sending these seven this year because the Zone quota (for the Games) usually only allow six youths, seven if we’re lucky,” said Lok, adding that Richmond is part of Zone 5, which is the Vancouver-Coastal region.
“We probably were allowed more athletes this year because the other zones couldn’t provide competitors due to COVID-19 and also most likely because they don’t have athletes that fit in the age category.”
Lok told the Richmond News that athletes competing in the BC Winter Games is a one-time deal and they aren’t allowed to compete a second time.
“It’s a funny rule when we compare it to other competitions like figure skating, but this is why many of our athletes train so hard for the Winter Games.”
With archery being an individual sport, four of the Richmond archers will be competing each other in the men’s Olympic recurve category.
The athletes who win in this year’s Winter Games will have a chance to attend and represent B.C. in the Canada Winter Games in 2023.