By Kevin Marasco
Fernie Rod and Gun Club
Local Olympic Archer and Fernie Rod and Gun Club member Kevin Evans set out to do some hunting November 12 to 20 but it wasn’t a whitetail or mule deer buck that he was after.
Kevin was on his way to Guadalajara, Mexico to the Parapan American Games in his hunt for a Gold Medal in Archery.
Kevin lost his left arm in an oilfield accident in 2000 and uses a brace, or harness, hooked over his left shoulder to help him hold his bow. A trigger mechanism sits underneath his chin. When he is ready to shoot, he just relaxes his jaw and it pushes down onto the trigger.
Kevin is one of the top Paralympic archers in the world. He started competing nationally in 2003 when he attended his first National Championship and won the event. In 2005 he went on to compete in his first World Championship, placing fifth. Taking the World Championship title in 2007, the highlight of his career, was followed by another World Championship title in 2009. Kevin also competed in the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games and placed sixth. He now holds two world championship titles and four world records. Not only does Kevin compete in archery events for athletes with a disability, he also competes in able-bodied events. In 2006 he placed fifth in the Mexican Grand Prix and third in 2008 at the World Cup.
Kevin’s expectations were not high before attending the Parapan American Games due to some injuries during the past year. “That might have been a saving grace, I mean I didn’t put that much pressure on myself,” explains Kevin.
Being in a relaxed mindset Kevin made it to the Gold medal match against his fellow Canadian teammate Bob Hudson of Leoville, Saskatchewan. In the final, Kevin defeated Bob 7-3 to capture the Gold medal. With this win Kevin secures his spot on the Canadian team that will compete at the London 2012 Paralympics. “I’m very, very happy to win the gold medal and to qualify for London. I made some mistakes prior to Beijing in changing my style and have learned from that. I want to make sure I don’t fall as short in London.”
Kevin owns and operates Kootenay Archery in Jaffray and helps out the Fernie Rod and Gun Club immensely with all their 3-D shoots, the Junior Olympic Program and the up and coming indoor shooting program and range.
The club will be working on a new indoor shooting facility to continue on with the JOP Program and offering an indoor shooting league, ladies program, fun night and family night. The range will be located at the Elks Hall in Fernie and will be underway shortly. The club hopes to have a permanent indoor range on the second floor of the Elks Hall in the near future. “This area will work out great, giving members a chance to shoot out to 30 yards in the winter and a lot more room than the main floor of the Elks Hall,” explains Archery Director Brian Fantuz. “We need to do a few renos and the area will be ready to go!” For more info on the archery programs at the FRGC please visit their website at www.ferniergc.com or contact Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kevin Marasco at email@example.com