Women's Athletics


Women's archery competitions began in 1932-33 at an intra-university field day with Brescia, Alma, and University colleges.

Archery became a popular choice as forty women were in the Interwestern tournament in 1934-35 and fifty-one in archery classes the following year.

By the mid-1930s, there was an archery club at Western and women joined this as well.  Involvement was further expanded as archery became an intercollegiate sport for women in 1937.

Women's Archery, 1936

Women began competing in archery in the 1930s.  Pictured is the 1936 team. Courtesy of UWO Student Council.

WWII however, interfered and intercollegiate activity stopped in 1941, not returning until 1946.  In the meantime, the Interwestern competition’s importance rose.

Archery was still popular in the 1950s and was coached by Elizabeth Allen Jones.  In this decade, it was hoped that the sport would only continue to grow as women competed in both intercollegiate archery and indoor invitational archery.

Western won at both West-O-Mac (competition between Western, Ontario Agricultural College and McMaster) and the Interwestern field day each year from 1953-57.


Intercollegiate Archery 1965

The 1965 intercollegiate team with coach Elfrida Berzins. Courtesy of UWO Student Council.

The 1960s proved a busy time for women's archery as they were participating in many different ways.

The women’s archery team competed in the Al-Wat-West competition between Alma, Waterloo, and Western for most of the 1960s as well.  However, this competition was abandoned near the end of the decade.

Women were still participating in high numbers as the 1960s began, with thirty in 1960-61.  These women were involved in outdoor archery in the fall and indoor in the winter throughout the decade.

On top of these other competitions that women archers took part in during the 1960s, exhibition games also took place.

Women's Archery, 1971

1971 photo of a woman showing her skills.  Courtesy of UWO Student Council.

The archery teams grew and saw great success under Elfrida Kukainis Berzins, or “Mrs. B", with the indoor and outdoor teams both achieving at least one win in the 1960s.

The girls and mixed teams won at the US/Canada Indoor Winter Intercollegiate Telegraphic Archery Tournament, a competition with twenty-seven other schools.

Archery remained popular in the 1970s as thirteen women enrolled in archery class and thirty women were involved in archery competition.

Despite this interest at Western, by 1984 archery was no longer an official league sport.

Women's Archery Action Shot, 1971

1971 archery action shot. Courtesy of UWO Student Council.