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Archery and family combine for Tristan Spicer-Moran

Tristan Spicer-Moran has his sights set on another archery achievement.

“Winning is the goal but at least show good for myself, for Canada and for Saskatchewan,” he said.

The Prince Albert product is one of four Archery Canada athletes heading to the Pan American Championships, set to take place Nov. 22-27 in Santiago, Chile. And of the four athletes from Canada competing in the compound target archery event, Spicer-Moran is ranked No. 1.

“I’ve been training a lot harder since I heard,” said the member of the Timberland Bowbenders Club in Prince Albert.

While Spicer-Moran has competed at numerous international events as a junior, this will be his first major international event as a senior. In 2017, he won a silver medal in the team event at the World Archery Youth Championships in Argentina. He then won bronze in the team event at the 2018 World Archery Indoor Championships in South Dakota. He’s also won more than 36 provincial championships and 20 Canadian championships, varying from the under-12 age group to senior, in all different disciplines including 3D shooting, target, indoor and outdoor.

“I’ve been shooting since I was six-years-old so to be here now feels pretty good,” said the 24-year-old.

And Spicer-Moran can still remember the early days of practicing his craft. When he was younger, he got a bow as a birthday present and started going to competitions at age eight. Spicer-Moran attended his first international event in Las Vegas when he was 12 and it was around then when he started to take the sport more seriously.

“I used to shoot after school until dark,” he said.

Spicer-Moran credits his dad Stacey Moran, a bow hunter and archery coach himself, for helping him get to where he is today.

“I wouldn’t be as far as I am without my dad,” said Spicer-Moran. “He’s just as committed as me. I do the shooting but when I was younger, all the tuning of the bows and making up arrows and stuff like that was him.

“He spent hours online (researching) what to do and how to do things. His commitment is just as big as mine.”

The family, including mom Suzanne and younger sister Caity, would travel to various events Spicer-Moran was competing in growing up, which made for some good family bonding.

“Traveling to shoots and doing all of those things, our family got pretty close doing that,” said Spicer-Moran. “We were constantly together.”

Now, Spicer-Moran is passing along that passion to his own son, four-year-old Hudson, who also has a bow of his own.

“He’s really into it now and really likes it,” said Spicer-Moran. “He loves shooting the 3D targets so he’s kind of on a similar path as I was, except two years sooner. It’s not just about me now because I go out there and do my thing, but I also help him.

“It helps you reconnect with the sport.”

Reflecting back on his own childhood, Spicer-Moran sees many of the values that his own dad passed along to him when he was learning the sport. He says his dad always kept it fun and different for him.

“It was never forced onto me that that was the thing I had to do,” said Spicer-Moran.

But still, over the years, Spicer-Moran developed quite the competitive nature, which led to the dedication he has developed to honing his craft.

“I want to give myself the best chance to win,” he said. “If I go there, and I am not prepared and shoot terrible, I know I’m going to be miserable.”

And while he has no control over how other athletes do, Spicer-Moran admits the competition has gotten tougher over the years, with many more skilled archers in recent years, forcing him to up his accuracy as well.

“The scores compared to when I started shooting to the scores now are insane how high they got and how many people are doing it,” he said. “There’s not many people that dominate the sport right now because there’s just so many good, qualified shooters.”

And maybe one day, Spicer-Moran thinks, Hudson will be one of those skilled shooters with the same dedication and love to the sport that his dad has.

“If he wants to stay into it,” said Spicer-Moran. “I will definitely never hold him back.”