Jaffray’s Kevin Evans has been named the 2019 Hank Wiseman Coach of the Year by Archery Canada through their annual awards.
Evans has been an archery coach at the Cranbrook and Fernie clubs for many years, as well as being the BC Zone coach for five BC Games. According to Archery Canada, Evans began archery in 1979, and has since competed at three Summer Paralympics, four World Para Championships, four Continental Championships and twice at the Para Continental Championships.
“Kevin has been coaching for several years while continuing to pursue his athletic career and is recognized as an excellent coach and an inspiration to all Canadian archers,” Alpine Canada said. “He has been the BC Zone coach for five BC Games and has regularly made himself available to help aspiring Para archers as well as working with some rising stars in compound target archery. He is also known worldwide for his work with prosthetic releases for archers that do not have function in their hands or limbs. Congratulations Kevin!”
The Townsman caught up with Evans over the phone after he received the award. He says that he was surprised by and thankful for the recognition.
“I’m very appreciative of the recognition, but it was certainly a surprise,” he said. “It’s always a team effort and there are so many people to thank who help make this happen.”
He adds that his fellow coach, Elaine Johnson also deserves a shoutout for her hard work at the Cranbrook Club.
“Her and I do the majority of the coaching together in Cranbrook. It’s a team effort, everyone puts something on the table; the parents, the kids themselves,” Evans said. “And on the National and Para National team, we’ve got some amazing people who work so hard and put so many hours into this sport.”
He says that as a coach, different generations of kids have presented different challenges and needs, which always keeps things interesting.
“It’s been fun, I have no regrets. It’s always interesting to see the different kids with their own needs,” Evans said. “If I don’t know something I find someone that does. We always work together and try to pass on that knowledge.”
In terms of how COVID-19 has affected archery over the past few months, and will for the remainder of the year, Evans says it’s going to be tough to stay motivated to practice without the ability to compete.
“You know, we’ve been following the NSO guidelines and social distancing but as a national team we’re not doing anything together to that regard. We’re spread all over the country so it’s tough because we can’t travel,” he said. “A lot of people are practicing at home but again it’s hard to train when you aren’t able to compete. Some other countries are trying to do things in a modified way, so hopefully we can down the line as well.”
For Evans, he can at least step out his back door and practice at home on his acreage in Jaffray, where his business, Kootenay Archery is.
“I’m lucky that I can just step outside and shoot. I encourage everyone to do what they can to continue to practice,” Evans said. “Thanks to Archery Canada for this recognition and thanks to everyone who has helped along the way.”
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