EMG2023 BLOG: Traditional bow’s journey towards the EMG2023
Harri Verho – A club activist, analyser, developer, reliable, goal-oriented, a lifelong student of … life.
Firstly an archery enthusiast who is currently educating himself deeper into archery, a photographer who is spending time on practicing how archery can be pictured. Secondly I am a motorcyclist and earned my “Mile Eater” status a long time ago by driving several IBA drives.
I bought my first bow in 2008, the bow was a compound hunting bow. When I was looking for an opportunity to learn archery, I found Tampereen Jousiampujat -club (TJA) and their training site in Osmonkallio. TJA is dedicated to target shooting so I also equipped my bow with target shooting equipments and started practicing 18m and 70m shooting, also going to competitions. The first national championships were a huge experience to me, when I stepped on the line I felt a kind of shaking in my legs.
Through the competitions I got to know new fellow archers and was attracted to new shooting sports, such as field archery. I learned from old veterans such as Marko Järvenpää, Anne Laurila and Jari Haavisto, who are experienced veterans in field archery both in national and international competitions. The challenges of field archery were charming, addition on getting both outdoors and into nature at the same time. My ties to field archery grew deeper when I discovered Pirkanmaa Jousimetsästäjät -club (PJM) which had just gained control of the Laiskonvuori area where it was planned to build its own 3D archery track for the club. When the club meeting asked for a volunteer to become a track master, I accepted the position.
My time was filled by both competing in field archery under the auspices of World Archery (WA) and 3D archery. My clubmates shot with both compound bows and longbows, so I also got myself the first longbow, which I then also raced both field archery and on 3D tracks. Although the main motive was to get out and into nature, also the feel of the competition was very attractive. Sometimes I would go around the track by myself, shooting an arrow or two, other times I would stop at an awkward target, practicing shooting at it until it felt like I was able to get “inside” of it.
A few years ago, for the first time in a competition, I saw a new bowclass to me – Instinctive. After a while I got myself my first Instinctive bow which was Border’s Covert Hunter. I began to study the so-called tab-driven shooting technic, and I was totally engrossed in shooting with Instinctive both target archery and in 3D -shooting competitions. Since I was both on the board of the federation and as an field archery sports manager at the same time, and I competed in both target and field archery competitions, time management became a problem so I decided to give up my duties at the federation. Soon after making the decision, I was offered the position of competition manager for the field archery of the EMG 2023 competitions at PJM. I couldn’t refuse this position, so I decided to continue in active club activities for another year.
In the spring of 2022, we started planning to build a track in Sasi which was the current PJM 3D archery track and were able to design the “Kettukivi” track where a test race was shot in the summer of 2022. The reason for organizing this competition was to gather lessons for our club about organizing field archery competitions. After the competition we gathered feedback from the competitors, including a few veterans such as Marko from Järvenpää and Pasi Ahjokivi, who have tremendous experience in international competitions in field archery competitions. At the same time I started writing an archery Sports Guide for the EMG2023 competition and noticed that only four of the five World Archery’s five bowclasses were involved there. My current bow class, Instinctive – now called Traditional – was missing from the list.
I discussed the matter with our technical delegate Niko Ylipelkonen and while taking into account the special features of Finnish archery, such as the use of camo-colored equipment, we also included the missing bow class into the Sports Guide. We first sent the updated Sports Guide to WA for approval, which issued a few clarifying remarks to the guideline but accepted both camo-colored equipments and the Traditional bow. When the Sports Guide was then sent to IMGA for final approval, it was painful time to wait for a response, wondering if the changes we made were acceptable to them as well.
Now the IMGA approval has also come and next year the EMG 2023 competitions will see for the first time all five of WA’s bow classes in both field archery and target archery. For us competition organisers, the inclusion of a new bow class does not bring much more work – however, this provides all competitors an equal opportunity to participate in the competition with their own bow class.
At the moment we are building second field archery track that has been given the name “Patamontut”. We believe that we have made the tracks suitably challenging for next year. We still have a lot work ahead of us but we are on schedule and the work is progressing. In June 2023, we are ready to welcome the competitors to Tampere and offer them the opportunity to step on the peg for the first time in the EMG competition here in the Nordic countries.
Harri Verho from Pirkanmaan Jousimetsästäjät Ry