LAC LA BICHE - Rene Schaub still gets notes and messages from athletes and visitors who took part in last year's World 3D Archery Championships in Lac La Biche.
"I've gotten hundreds of positive emails with messages of the unforgettable experiences from archers that came to our county. Many said they would come back if ever we did it again, said Schaub, adding with a grin, "and that's a good thing — because we are putting in another bid."
The community is now in the running to host the 2024 World Field Archery Championships.
Schaub, the president of the Lakeland Archers club in Lac La Biche, is also a national archery team coach, as well as a respected judge in the international archery world. He was the primary organizer of the 2019 World 3D Archery Championships hosted in Lac La Biche County — the smallest community in the world to ever host the global event.
Those championships drew athletes from 25 countries, highlighting the community, the sport and the new facilities at the archery club's home base at the Lac La Biche Shooting Range. From the accolades that have poured in since last September's closing ceremonies of the week-long event, Schaub says the community's size is nothing compared to the community's support.
"It's not the size of the community, it's the size of its heart," said Schaub, giving full credit to a team of organizers, club members, family and community residents who helped to host one of the best-reviewed archery events in modern history. "It was so good that a lot of countries said if we are putting in a bid, they would back off."
Giving it a "pretty good chance" of success, the bid for the 2024 World Field Championships would see representatives from 40 countries competing. Held every two years, the last two events have taken place in Dublin, Ireland and Cortina, Italy. The 2022 event is slated to take place in the South Dakota city of Yankton.
Field archery uses natural landscapes and round, bullseye targets at distances from 20 feet to 80 yards. Schaub said if the local bid is accepted, the week-long eliminations will take place — like they did for the 3D Worlds — at the Lakeland Archers outdoor range. The finals — again like the 3D Worlds — would likely be held at a prominent local venue. Schaub would like to see the Lac La Biche Golf Club as that site, utilizing the long fairway, and rolling lakeside hills. As the details of the bid are worked out, and the final submission expected to be made early next year, Schaub will continue to work on the overall plan.
Nationals slated for next year
Helping with that plan, the Lakeland Archers have already secured the Indoor National Championships, scheduled for April of next year. That event will take place inside the Bold Center. It will be the second time the community and the Lakeland Archers have hosted the indoor nationals event at the Bold Center in recent years. Schaub hopes to secure the annual competition for a three-year term. He said the community is an ideal location for the event.
"So far, I don't know that anyone can really compete with all that we have available and the experiences we have had," Schaub said.