By Andy Labdon
Randall-Dre Friday from Kylemore seems to be somewhat of a protégé when it comes to the ancient art of archery. Friday has been selected for Team Saskatchewan to participate in the North American Indigenous Games in Toronto.
In April 2016, Friday competed in 3-D archery at the Parkland Outdoor Show and Expo held in Yorkton and won silver in the 10-12 age group. Spurred on by his success, he entered more competitions that year accumulating a tally of four golds and one silver. As if that wasn’t enough, his talent with the bow, a 60-lb. Bowtech compound bow, caught the attention of scout and coach Mel Taypotai.
Taypotai’s advice to Friday was, “Go to games and competitions to be seen,” as team officials regularly peruse scorecards posted on the internet and with advice from coaches, promising archers are picked.
For Friday being picked for the games in Toronto is something of an achievement, for he will be the youngest ever archer chosen in his age group of 13-16 male to attend.
It is anticipated that this event will to be the largest sporting and cultural gathering of Indigenous Peoples in North America. It is expected to host more than 5,000 participants, 2,000 volunteers and countless spectators for 14 sport categories, 3-D archery, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, canoe/kayak, golf, lacrosse, rifle shooting, soccer, softball, swimming, volleyball, and wrestling.
Participating teams represent all 13 provinces and territories of Canada, as well as up to 13 regions from the United States.