From Feb. 25 – 28, Prince Rupert’s Kevin Winther will be off to Penticton, participating at the 2016 BC Winter Games in archery.
Winther has come a long way in a short amount of time, according to his coach Fred Hutchings.
“When [Kevin] did the initial qualifications, his scores were quite low. Since then, he has just excelled. He’s got himself together. He’s come a long way since November (the B.C. qualification event). I think mentally he’s ready for the Games. It’s going to be very interesting to see how he places,” said Hutchings.
“He’s changed his arrows, sight, and the rest (where the arrow sits on the bow). Tweaking all these fine details should gain him a few points for scoring. It comes down to points, it’s all about the points. You can be the best archer in the world, but if you’re not mentally prepared, the gear won’t do you any good. He’s going up against some really high quality archers at this event. If he has his mental game together, he should do really well.”
Hutchings has been involved in archery at the BC Winter Games for the past eight years. He is now the head coach of the Northwest zone archery team in this year’s Games. In his experience, mental preparation is paramount to success.
“It comes down to focus. I’m hoping Kevin can put out of his mind what’s going on around him, and just focus on what he has to do. There’s so much pressure because of the quality of the participants down there. If he can keep driving the arrows into the centre of the target, it’s going to be interesting. Some excel in this environment, and some lose their edge when they lose their focus, and the pressure gets to them.”
Winther trains at the Prince Rupert Tabernacle Church on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday nights.
Hutchings spoke about how increased training has improved Kevin’s skill.
“His scores have jumped dramatically because he’s putting the time in. He’s got his focus. He’s working on all the finer points: if you breathe wrong you will throw your scores off, if you blink or flinch you will throw your scores off.”
The Northwest zone is composed of the area of Haida Gwaii to Vanderhoof. Winther will be one of five participants representing this zone in archery and the only one from Prince Rupert.
“If they do their best, what more can you ask,” Hutchings added.
Angad Chugh who is in Grade 8 at Prince Rupert Middle School, will also be participating in the Games. For him, it’s Karate.
Angad, commonly known as Andy, is very excited to take part in his first Winter Games, representing his new community and his family.
Chugh moved to the North Coast from Surrey four years ago and can be seen playing soccer, badminton, volleyball and swimming.
“I really like karate because it keeps you fit and it helps with self-defence. I think I’m faster and more flexible since starting karate,” said Chugh.
During qualifying, Chugh won all his matches, and currently he holds an orange belt. This will change shortly after the Winter Games as he will be getting his green belt.
Chugh explained what a normal practice consists of, training under Senzai Wade Wilkins and Kevin Forssell at the Prince Rupert Karate Club.
“A practice starts with meditation. This opens our mind to start the training, then we warm up, and then we do some karate exercises. Sometimes we do ‘kata’, which a pattern of techniques using imaginary opponents or we do pumate which is freestyle sparring.”
Freestyle sparring is Chugh’s favourite type of karate.
“I like to do the jab reverse with the roundhouse kick from the front foot and also the backhand and sweeping roll,” Andy added enthusiastically.
Chugh has been supported throughout his time here in Prince Rupert, and wanted to make that known.
“Wade is a really good coach, he has been doing it for many years. He’s taught me how to fight better, so I can protect myself if I need to. I want to thank my mom and dad for their support, and senzei Wade and senzei Paul and Tanya.