Local archer Fred Streleoff is making history with his longbow archery skills.
Streleoff qualified for the top position on Canada’s national 3D archery team in Lac La Biche, Alberta June 18 and 19.
This will be the fifth time in a row Streleoff makes the Canadian 3D team for archery and heads to international competition.
“No Canadian 3D team member has been named to more consecutive teams than Fred,” said fellow Cariboo archer Al Campsall.
He beat out competitors by 30 points in the 3D team selection trials shoot —where archers shoot at three-dimensional targets to secure spots on the national team.
Streleoff was shooting in the longbow division, which he has switched to after shooting at a world-class level with a recurve and a compound bow previously.
Streleoff still left his competitors in the dust, despite the switch of equipment.
“His 30 point winning margin is very unusual,” said Campsall.
“Normally, only a few points separate first from third, and he switched to a longbow, I have never heard of anyone doing that successfully.”
Streleoff seems to be glad he did not give archery competition up, which is something he considered when competition was halted during Covid. But his friends talked him out of it and he switched to the longbow in order to provide himself a new challenge.
“I really enjoy archery and I’m a little competitive,” commented the understated Streleoff to the Tribune as he drove to his next competition in Cranbrook. Streleoff has been the top 3D shooter in Canada in the recurve or instinctive class multiple times.
In order to compete at a world-class level, Streleoff not only has to maintain his skills by constant practice, but he also has to fund his own travel to and from competitions.
While Archery Canada does support national team members to some degree, the amount of support depends on an average score over previous world competitions, and even qualifying for the highest level of funding support does not cover the entire cost to travel and compete.
Streleoff said he estimates it costs about $1,800 to register, shoot and stay during the world’s, which will take place in Terni, Italy in September. Travel to and from Italy will be on top of this.
Now fuel prices are so high, the trip to and from Lac La Biche, provincials and the upcoming nationals in P.E.I. are even more expensive and the financial commitment is significant.
“It’s hard to do other sports,” Streleoff explained, between the time and the money involved.
At 55, he said he may scale back competition after this year’s world’s, but he knows himself enough to not commit.
“I’d never say never, either.”