At first, it might might be easy to miss Jacob Ball on the archery range.
The 10-year-old doesn’t say much, and at 4’6”, his bow is almost as tall as he is. But when he steps onto range, eyes the target, and draws the bow string, his talents make the Central Saanich resident stand out in the crowd.
“From the very minute he picked up the bow, he had this beautiful form, a nice strong bow arm nice followthrough,” said father Jarrod Ball. “It was almost something that was hereditary born with a bow in his hands, it was almost something that was just meant to be.”
Jarrod said the Grade 5 student at Keating Elementary has made it three generations of archers in the Ball family. Jacob’s grandfather Dave started in the sixties, Jarrod himself following in his father’s footsteps in the eighties, and with Jacob joining them both in 2012 at five years old. All three practice together at the Victoria Bowmen archery range in View Royal and Jacob still reaches for his father’s hand as they make their way to and from the targets.
“It’s nice because the three of us have all been together shooting and it is pretty cool. It’s three generation shooting together, there aren’t a lot of sports where you can do that,” Jarrod said. “Archery is pretty much in the family… even when I was young we were shooting, we were pretty much born on the shooting line.”
Both Jarrod and Jacob still compete, Jacob securing gold at the 2017 B.C. Indoor provincial Championships in Armstrong and 13th place at the 2017 Vegas Shoot. He will be representing Vancouver Island as he makes his way to the Canadian Archery Championship in Brossard Quebec Aug. 7-11. But Jacob says he doesn’t do it just for the competition, he does it’s fun, and he enjoys spending time with family.
“No one I know who does archery (their) dad is a coach and I just think that is really cool,” Jacob said. “It is fun because usually other kids would just be dropped off and just shoot arrows and do the same thing for a long time and I am just lucky to have a dad for a coach.”
A member of the junior Olympian program through the Victoria Bowmen, he also trains out of the Saanich Commonwealth Place, said it’s a privilege to shoot archery and plans to keep on shooting for the rest of his life.
“It’s in most of the family tree my dad did it my grandpa and my grandma did it… I want to make my family proud, but not jealous, I want to make them happy for me,” he said.