[Ansteorra-archery] Titled Archery Champions
luminosow at hotmail.com
Mon Aug 1 13:55:13 PDT 2005
Greetings to the great Archers of Ansteorra,
I apologize for not being able to respond to this topic sooner, as it is one
of great concern to me, and near and dear to my heart. However, mundane
life has placed great demands on my time, which is in harmony with much that
is being discussed here.
For those of you who do not know me, once again my apologies, and allow me
to fill you in on my viewpoint of this topic.
In January of 2002 I won the title Royal Huntsman of Ansteorra. I was
told by a former RH that my duties would be to attend every event with a
Royal Procession possible and stand in court to represent the archery
community. And whenever I was not able to attend it was my responsibility
to find someone to stand in my place. If youve ever looked at the official
calendar youll notice thats about 3 events a month, for 6 months, over a
giant two-state area. I did my best and ended up attending about 2 events
per month that reign, including Gulf War. All expenses out of my own
pocket, and at a great strain to my family.
During Gulf War, I steeped out onto the battlefield wearing the Ansteorran
Huntsmans tabard and had HL Fergus look upon me and make the comment Do
you realize you are the first Huntsman to ever attend Gulf War? That is
also the first year Ansteorra won the war point for archery. Yet several
times during that reign I had people telling me I was not fulfilling my
duties and not acting as a true champion should? I believe a lot of what
people were expecting out of the kingdom archery champion, were actually
duties and responsibilities of the kingdom archery marshal, and the local
baronial marshals of the specific events, all official officers who have
volunteered to serve and perform such duties. This is why youve never seen
me even show up at an event holding the RH tournament since then. There is
no way I could attend an event and not do archery. And there is no way I
could bow-out of a list. And if I were eliminated from a list by someone
that bowed out, I would demand I be put back in the list in their place.
I was at an event a few months later and my predecessor came up to me in
private and made the comment Why didnt you warn me about all these duties
and repsonsibilites? I have not had the opportunity to practice archery
since becoming RH!
Look at what we are doing to our Champions.
Later that same year I won the title Bryn-Gwlad Baronial Archery Champion.
However, due to personal and financial reasons I was only able to attend
one official BG event that year. (Its a 3.5 hour drive for me.) Later I
even had people making comments to me like You were the worst champion Ive
ever seen. Yet I would think to myself, It was a double elimination
tournament, I went undefeated every round, the local marshal said that had
never been done before. Yet Im the worst champion in baronial history?
The above bad memories are a portion of why I took a year off from the SCA.
And why Im slowly and cautiously easing my way back in. Its experiences
and memories like these that make people not want to play anymore. Some
of us have families and obligations outside of the SCA, yet like to escape
mundane life to play and compete whenever we can.
And now Ive jumped right back into the pot. This May I won the title
Steppes Archer. I was told that it would be expected of me to attend
Steppes Artisian and Steppes 12th Night, and return next May for Steppes
Warlord. Ive scheduled the return flight of my summer vacation one day
early so I can be present at court for Artisan next week. (My apologies to
Susan in advance if my flight is delayed.)
I like attending major titled-archery championships for the thrill of being
able to compete against the best archers there are, from all over the
kingdom. I feel having these tournaments restricted to local populace only
would take much of the excitement away, and reduce these shoots to something
not much more than a local practice.
To earn the Title of Archery Champion is something of Prestige and Honor,
something to be earned, something to be proud of; an accomplishment to be
celebrated. To be awarded the Office of Archery Marshal is something to
be volunteered for, a very serious position of duty and responsibility.
Something that can be stepped downed from (or bowed-out of) as mundane life
or personal reasons require.
Lord Lughaidh Mac Sheóinín
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