Dwight Vanderveen left the BC Winter Games with a gold and silver medal in archery. While he has only been competing for half a year he has been shooting bows for over half a decade.
“I have been shooting bows for six years. I got my hunting bow, which is an APA and have been shooting that one for a while. I was shooting at the club over the winter and my friend Jessica Evans, who I went to school with in Jaffray, told me about the Winter Games and how I should try out for them. In her opinion she thought I was a good enough shot to do it, so I thought I’d give it a try,” said Vanderveen.
The high-school archer helps out with the local archery club and is planning to help the Cranbrook club he was recently introduced to.
“If I am shooting in Fernie, I’ll help with set up and take down, but in Cranbrook I’ve never really helped out because I was not a part of the club until recently. I am pretty sure this year I’ll be helping out more there,” he said.
Even though only one person lets loose an arrow in archery, Vanderveen believes that he could not have done it without the support of the community he belongs to.
“Lots of people say it is an individual sport but it really isn’t. You need all the support you can get, from all your teammates, coaches, my mom, and even competitors. It definitely has to do with family and friends. You get introduced to the club and it’s not like you just shoot there, you have your friends, the people you shoot with, your family, it basically is your family there,” he said. “I could not have done it without them. I had friends that got medals that have helped me but even the people that didn’t get any medals have helped me so much. I just really could not have done it without everyone.”
The decorated archer has a busy schedule between training and school. As he describes a typical school day, one word comes to mind – hectic.
“I start in Grasmere where I live with my uncle and go to school in Fernie until 3 p.m. then I get on a bus to Jaffray where I meet my grandma and I eat dinner. Then my coach, Kevin Evans, picks me up and brings me to Cranbrook. Then I shoot in Cranbrook and catch a ride back to Grasmere and that is my day,” said Vanderveen. “Or I go to my mom’s and she makes me do my homework in the car. I have to keep my grades up or I am not allowed to continue. I do that five times a week. For all the days spent in the dark, that one day you are in the light is definitely worth it when you are on the top stop of the podium. It is a pretty cool feeling up there.”