October 22nd, 2020

Axe throwers sharpen their skills


By Bobinec, Greg on January 20, 2020.

Herald photo by Greg Bobinec
Ten axe throwing competitors from True North Axe Throwing in Lethbridge keep their skills sharp with practice before heading to the Axe Throwing Championships in Toronto in February. @GBobinecHerald

Greg Bobinec

Lethbridge Herald

gbobinec@lethbridgeherald.com

True North Axe Throwing Lethbridge is working hard to condition their team of 10 members who will be representing them at the International Axe Throwing Championships in Toronto this February.

Throughout the year, axe throwers from all over compete in various tournaments to be ranked locally, nationally and internationally. By the end of the tournament season, a group of local throwers qualified for round one at nationals, and 10 of them walked away qualifying for the international championships. Local throwers now have a chance to win the biggest cash prize in axe throwing history, along with competing against over 250 of the best throwers from around the world.

“The tournament in February is crazy because the prize is $50,000, biggest cash prize of axe throwing yet,” says Tanner Kenney, co-owner of True North Axe Throwing Lethbridge.

“There is over 200 throwers in it and the fact that we have 10 representatives from Lethbridge alone going out there is a pretty cool fact that our small local town can compete not just on a national scale, but on an international one as well.”

Since True North Axe Throwing Lethbridge opened three years ago, they have grown their community largely to welcome everyone into the lighthearted sport. Professional tournaments have drawn the attention of local axe throwing enthusiasts, and when placed to compete with high ranking players, they stood up to the challenge and helped create a name for Lethbridge throwers.

“We have some throwers here from True North that are ranked in the top 25 in the world, some of our throwers have gone on to perform very well in professional tournaments and won money,” says Kenney.

“We had 10 throwers from True North that did qualify to go to Toronto and they were qualifying against people from all around the world. It is something that we can be proud of, a lot of these people are in here practising for hours, they take it pretty serious, but they also reap the benefits of that practice.”

Axe throwing in Alberta, particularly in Lethbridge, came later compared to other parts of the country. Kenney says the quick growth in their throwers has been impressive and has helped them catch up to the level of competition in the rest of the world.

“It is super exciting to see the growth of axe throwing,” says Kenney. “Lethbridge got its start in axe throwing in 2017, where in Toronto it started back in 2008, so we are a little behind the rest of the world, but the fact that we were able to catch up quick and really put our name on the map is something to be excited about.”

The group of 10 throwers from True North Axe Throwing Lethbridge will make their way to Toronto in mid-February to put their swing to the test, to hopefully claim the top prize, and title of top International Axe Throwing Champion.

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