Al Wills

Al at Cowichan for 2011 BC Outdoors

Al in action

Al has dedicated himself to the sport and he has been actively involved in archery for more than 40 years. He participates in as many archery tournaments possible as a competitor, coach and judge, and he has served in numerous capacities from the Club level to President of Archery Canada. On the local scene, Al has been on the Board of Directors of the Victoria Bowmen Association for more than 30 years and President of that organization for 15 years. As well, Al has worked on many international committees and projects.

A list of Al's accomplishments is nothing short of astonishing. Most recently he served as Chair of the Canadian Archery Championships, which were held here in August. Al was President of Archery Canada from 1991 to 2003. Reelected in 2009, he continues as President today. He has been International Archery Representative for Canada to World Archery since 1987. He is a member of the World Archery Committee that lobbies to include archery as a permanent sport in the Commonwealth Games. Since 1998 he has been on the Canadian Olympic Committee Board of Directors representing the sport of archery. Al was the Head Coach of the Canadian Archery Program from 1982 to 1986, and he was the 1984 Olympic Team Coach. In 1997 he was Chairman of the 39th World Championship Organizing Committee, which was the first time these championships were held in Canada.

Al was a Founding Member of the Archery Canada Foundation in 2009 whose mission is to promote the sport in Canada and provide funding for non-government projects. Over the past few decades, he has been Co-Chairman for five Canadian Archery Championships and Technical Delegate for eight Canadian Championships.

Al has been presented with many awards over the years in recognition of his contributions. Some of these are:

 - Archery Canada Coach of the Year 1984
 - Gold Volunteer award for services to the XIV Commonwealth Games.
 - Canada 125 Medal for contribution to archery 1992
 - International Archery Federation award in 1997 for outstanding contribution to International Archery
 - Inaugural Archery Canada Past President's Award in 2004
 - Member of the Canadian Armed Forces Sports Hall of Fame
 - Life member of Archery Canada, the BC Archery Association and the Victoria Bowmen Archery Club

There is another side to the tireless efforts that Al has brought to bear in building the sport of archery. In 1998 he began researching, scanning, inputting, typing and printing the results of Canadian Championships from 1948 to the present. Although still a work in progress, the exhaustive files are now archived in the Federation of Canadian Archers national office, and in 2002 he published the first volume of the History of Canadian Archery Championships. For his work on this project and many others Al is known as Canadian Archery's historian.

Finally, Al has developed an amazing archery museum collection of bows, arrows and books. His archery book collection is arguably the largest in the world and when asked how many bows he has, he won't say because you might tell his wife. He will admit it's over 100!


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Victoria enjoys a stellar sports history and we celebrate the many athletes, teams and builders who have contributed to that history.  Our displays are seen at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre (1925 Blanshard St.)  through Gate Three.


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