CHEK Upside: Quarantine Axe Throwing League takes off in Victoria

CHEK Upside: Quarantine Axe Throwing League takes off in Victoria
WatchIn the midst of adapting to Covid-19, axe throwers from all over the globe have adapted to play matches in a world wide league in the comfort of their own backyard.

It’s minutes before game time and Danny Hamilton is getting to know his opponent, Ken, who happens to live in Atlanta, Georgia.

Hamilton meanwhile lives in Victoria, yet the two are moments away from matching up in the Quarantine Axe Throwing League (QATL).

Danny’s wife, Katie, streams the match from Victoria while keeping score. On the other end in Atlanta, Ken also keeps a video stream of the match. It’s one of many virtual axe throwing matches taking place on a daily basis.

“The quarantine league was set-up in Burlington, Ontario and it was just for people who needed a release needed something to do,” said Hamilton.

The QATL launched just over a month ago and now there are nearly 1,000 members on their Facebook page hailing from Canada to New Zealand.  There are currently a handful of members from Vancouver Island. Anyone with a Facebook account, backyard, axe and target board can join.

Hamilton, the owner of Axe & Grind in Victoria and Nanaimo which has closed due to COVID-19, has started building target boards to provide Islanders with a chance to continue throwing and perhaps join the QATL.

“I’ve put out about fifteen targets so far. Not all of them are for league members. I think about five or six league members. The general public has taken a few,” said Hamilton.

One of those targets now belongs to Erin Katz of Ladysmith. She’s a single mother of three, who recently suffered multiple strokes and spent eight weeks in the hospital. Katz told CHEK News axe throwing is her favourite form of therapy.

“To have a healthy good fun outlet, to feel fierce and capable and chuck some axes. It’s really good for the soul,” said Katz.

“I met this gal and she’s an absolute inspiration. She’s a true hero,” said Hamilton.

Meanwhile, in the backyard cross-border match-up, Hamilton suffers a rare loss. However, the Dublin, Ireland native is all smiles in defeat.

“Whether I’m playing a good game or a bad game, it’s just a bit of fun and the chance to talk to somebody because we’re very isolated and that takes away some of that isolation,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton believes the online match-ups are a bullseye for the sport, and this new normal likely isn’t going anywhere.

“People are really appreciating playing people from all over this is going to carry on way beyond the quarantine.”

Kevin CharachKevin Charach

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