IAU Crossbow-shooting arrives in Africa…and makes a big impact!
Following their invitation to attend the World Crossbow Championship in August in Avon, France the leaders of the Cameroon Shooting Federation (FECATIR) have responded with an invitation to technical experts from the IAU and the ISSF to conduct a joint training course in the Cameroon capital City of Yaoundé, from November 19th to 30th 2010.
In September 2010 the IAU General Assembly approved a technical initiative to help countries without a crossbow shooting programme start and develop a programme that would eventually lead to IAU membership and participation in IAU Championships. As a means to assist developing countries without the funds to meet the high costs of equipment, the IAU General Assembly also approved the purchase of a number of crossbows for loaning out to prospective member national federations for development purposes. IAU Field–crossbow Technical Committee Chairman Charles Méchin was accompanied on the mission to Cameroon by the ISSF technical expert Yves Lejard. The training sessions were held on temporary shooting ranges at the national military stadium in Yaoundé. On the first day Charles conducted a presentation of the Field-crossbow to demonstrate the assembly of the equipment, safety procedures and basic shooting technique. Over the next few days the activities at the stadium made a big impact in the media. Numerous TV and Radio stations lined up to cover the event either on site or in the studio, with interviews and demonstrations of crossbow shooting. In addition to the media attention, the Cameroon Shooting Federation scheduled a presentation of IAU crossbow shooting to the National Institute of Youth Sports in front of 200 future teachers of sport.IAU Crossbow-shooting has now made its first steps in Africa.
As a result of the training course in Yaoundé the FECATIR’s Trainers have now experienced field-crossbow shooting, and they plan to continue to practice twice a week – thanks to equipment loaned under the IAU’s Development Programme. Their goal is to recruit and train a team to take part in an 18 meter national championship. The next step for the IAU in Africa will be to conduct a crossbow training course for the Algerian Shooting-sports Federation during 2011. The training course in Yaoundé was hosted by the Presidentof the Cameroon Shooting Federation Lt-Colonel Dieudonné Ayissi and the federations“ Technical Director Rev. Doctor Ferdnand Belibi Edza.