Kemptville archery champion shoots for stars, receives two local bursaries

Kemptville Advance
By Kelly Kent

When you think of famous archers, plenty of names come to mind. From Robin Hood to Katniss Everdeen of the popular Hunger Games series, these icons share a number of common traits, like bravery, dedication and heroism.

While local Kemptville archerextraordinaire Lindsay Fumerton, 17, might not be a hero in the traditional sense, she does share a number of these qualities.

Not only is Fumerton exceptionally talented with a bow, but she's also faced a number of obstacles in her life, all of which she's knocked down with quiet courage.

Though she'll joke that the image of her overcoming adversity by day and shooting arrows by night isn't exactly true, that's remarkably close to her day-to-day life.

As a competitive archer participating in several competitions annually, Fumerton also suffers from a chronic pain condition and recently dealt with the loss of her family home to a house fire.

"Life has thrown a whole bunch of stuff at me," Fumerton said, "but I've gotten over it. That's your only option, really: to give up or move on."

Despite the setbacks that she's had to overcome in the last few months, Fumerton is still at the top of her game, and recently received a bursary from the Kemptville and District Sports Hall of

Fame for the second time.

"That was unexpected," Fumerton said. "I definitely didn't think I would be lucky enough to receive it once, but now I've gotten it twice this year. I'm really grateful for that."

It shouldn't be a surprise though that Fumerton has caught the eye of the Kemptville and District Sports Hall of Fame, which gives out bursaries quarterly to deserving local athletes.

Though she has only been participating in archery for a few years, she's already risen to the top.

"I think I liked it at first because I was pretty good at it right away," she joked. "After years of trailing behind my brothers in figure skating, it was nice to finally be the best at something."

Fumerton's first passion was figure skating, which she and her three brothers - Bradley, 19, Nathan, 16, and Winston, 11 - competed in for a few years. However, after she dislocated her left knee when she was 11 years old, Fumerton was sidelined while the injury healed.

Or so she thought. In reality, the injury never fully healed, and left her with a chronic pain condition that has now been diagnosed as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

"What it means is that it hurts pretty much all the time," she said. "Sometimes I can barely get out of bed, and I spend a lot of time in doctor's offices and hospitals."

In the years right after her injury,

when treatments were less readily available, Fumerton said she had a hard time dealing with the pain. One year, when she was in Grade 8, she missed more than 117 days of school because of it (although she still managed to make the honour roll).

Now, Fumerton goes once a week for treatments at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), in six-week blocks. The treatment, which is administered

intravenously, numbs the pain for a few days but does nothing for Fumerton in the long term.

After the injury, Fumerton was devastated to learn that she would no longer be able to skate, and was left without a passion to channel her energy into.

For months, Fumerton said she moped around the house, still too upset about her dashed dreams to do much of anything. Her mother, desperate to find her daughter a

new hobby, suggested archery.

"My brothers did archery, too," Fumerton said, "so that's why my mom suggested it. Now I'm glad she did, since I couldn't imagine my life without it."

From the first time she picked up a bow and shot an arrow, Fumerton was hooked on the sport. "It's calming. You need every ounce of concentration or you just won't shoot right."Fumerton said with a smile. "It's a great excuse to ignore your problems." Fumerton practises at South Nation Archery Supply and Club in Winchester. Since she didn't need to move around too much to shoot, Fumerton said she found that archery was compatible with her pain syndrome. Soon, she started competing and found out just how good she actually was.

In 2012, Fumerton competed in several local and provincial championships, never placing lower than third place. She won second place at the OAA Provincial Outdoor Championships in Sault Ste. Marie, and later she outshot almost everyone in the country, placing fourth in the Canadian Indoor National Championships.

The next year, 2013, was even better for Fumerton. She competed in even more local, provincial and national competitions - nine in total - and placed first or second in all of them but two. She even took the national title by winning first place in the Canadian National Outdoor Championships in Woodstock, NB.

"I was on a roll," Fumerton

said. "I kept surprising myself, doing better than I ever would have expected."

This year, 2014, started out just as great. However, when her family home burned to the ground in late March and she was left temporarily homeless, Fumerton had a hard time overcoming the loss.

"You never imagine something like that happening to you," she said, "and when it does, it's so hard to even wrap your head around. It's not easy for anyone involved."

Fumerton was used to dealing with obstacles, though, and so soon afterwards she began her competitive season, despite the fact that she had lost all of her equipment in the blaze.

To her surprise, Fumerton had a better season than she's ever had. She placed first in two national competitions, including that Archery Canada National Indoor Championships, and first in two provincial competitions.

"I can't believe I did so well," Fumerton said. "It just goes to show that you really can do anything if you put your mind to it." Knowing what she's had to overcome in her daily life, it's no surprise that Fumerton has been the recipient of the local Sports Hall of Fame's bursary twice already.

"I'm really grateful for all of the support I've received from the community, especially after the fire," she said.

"It means I get to keep doing what I love, which is shooting arrows."

All of the candidates for the municipal election attended the meeting.

Each candidate had his or her own special focus regarding the election and what they wanted to achieve.

Councillor candidate Elwood Armour is concerned about the fate of Kemptville College. He is concerned about the development charges bylaw.

Mayoral candidate John Barclay feels the current council and mayor are not as engaged as they could be in their community. He feels North Grenville needs better representation at the United Counties Council.

He wants to make sure that future growth is smart and sustainable.

Councillor candidate Jim Bertram believes the election is really

all about the taxpayer and voter. He wants the council to be more open and connected to voters.

Councillor candidate Rhonda Finnerty wants to protect the municipality's infrastructure in the years to come and she would like to see more affordable housing in the area.

Mayoralty candidate Bill Forbes is concerned about the real cost of growth in North Grenville.

He is also concerned about what he feels is the lack of leadership in the mayor's position. He is interested in having each councillor represent a specific area of North Grenville.

Incumbent Mayor David Gordon feels that his experience as mayor will prove to be what makes the difference as the municipality struggles with increased provincial downloading without the corresponding funds to run programs. He is proud of

his and the current council's track record on taxes. The council was able to keep taxes to a 2 per cent increase. He is positive about the growth in North Grenville.

As mayor he believes the best management style is to let people who know how to do a job do it.

Councillor candidate Deron Johnston believes helping small business is very important to the community. He wants to focus on how North Grenville grows.

Councillor candidate Frank Onasanya wants to make a difference in his community. He's an active community volunteer and contributes to the community in a number of areas.

As a councillor, he said he'll be a cog in a large wheel, but that as that cog he will be able to inspire momentum to achieve the community's goals.

Incumbent councillor candidate Tim Sutton has served on the North Grenville council for the past eight years. He is proud

of the work the council has done in growing North Grenville and bringing more business into the community.

Over the past eight years, Sutton has been the chair of economic development and finance, and has helped to develop sustainable growth in the community while making sure that growth pays for itself.

Incumbent councillor candidate

Barb Tobin said she is running for her third consecutive term with the North Grenville council. She has worked on the expansion of parks and recreational facilities in the municipality. She believes that in the future North Grenville has to watch how it grows, ensuring that it grows in a sustainable way.

She would like to see new communication formats between

council and the public and the continued use of social media. Also, she would like to see the continued rally to preserve Kemptville College.

Questions from the audience included concerns about the municipality's ability to financially sustain itself.

Was the slogan "growth pays for growth" an accurate one?

The first question asked by members of the crowd was: does growth pay for growth. Councillor candidate Rhonda Finnerty said, development charges pay for growth. "A lot of the expense is through development charges which is paid by the developer."

Bill Forbes who is running for mayor told the story about when he was attending a conference in eastern Ontario a few weeks ago. The CAO at the Lanark County level said, "Don't believe that growth is not costing you money." He explained that the comment came from a person with a great deal of experience. "The formula for the development charge structure is set by the ministry. We cannot alter that," he said.

Incumbent Councillor Tim Sutton defended development charges by explaining that there is tax revenue coming in from new growth. He said there was a place on the municipality's website that explained the development charges.

Mayoral candidate John Barclay was concerned that you cannot predict the future. For example, the number of new homes being built in North Grenville and consequently depending on a constant amount of growth in the future might be a mistake.

Incumbent mayor David Gordon said the development charges were in line with expectations for future growth in the municipality. In answer to a question about the vision for North Grenville, Gordon said, "This is one of the best places to live in eastern Ontario bar none." He said he would do all that he could to keep it that way.

Making sure that North Grenville was on a

path of sustainability Gordon said, there were two high schools and three elementary schools with a new one on the way to replace the aging Kemptville Public School. He pointed out the work that has been done on the aspect of recreation and trails in the municipality and that he felt there was a great deal about North Grenville that would sustain growth in the future. John Barclay said that part of remaining sustainable was ensuring that there was good paying jobs in the area that would attract and keep people living here.

Bill Forbes felt that the current financial path the municipality was on was not sustainable. He said that the current operating costs for the municipality were unsustainable.

There was a question about the Trans Canada proposed Energy East Pipeline.

"There are 298 conditions that need to be met before the pipeline can go ahead," said incumbent councillor Barb Tobin. I cannot see it happening anytime soon."

Barclay said, he, as mayor, would think of the safety of North Grenville residents first. He said he would make sure there was a plan in place to deal with any spills. "It is a concern," he said.

Sutton said the current council was committed to making a presentation to the National Energy Board. He said he would support the next council making sure of the safety of North Grenville residents.

Councillor candidate Deron Johnston agreed that the substance being put into the pipeline was toxic. He said it is inevitable that the pipe would someday rupture.

"It would be a serious threat to our water supply. I would not support it," he said.

Gordon said he was concerned about the eventuality of a train derailment if the train were the only way this kind of material was shipped across the country. He suggested

more research and fact finding about the pipeline before any decision was made.

Jim Bertram was all for a pipeline but only if all safety precautions had been made. He felt getting the oil products to market is important but has to be done safely.

Another question was about the future of the Riverside Park revitalization project and in particular the fate of the splash pad idea. Barb Tobin said it was all about how much money was available to go ahead with the project. "It will all depend on the budget process in the next year with the next council. "Johnston said it was hard to deny a group that had shown so much passion for their project. Sutton said he supported the plan for Riverside Park. "We have great partnerships in North Grenville," he said referring to the group of people who had been working towards getting a splash pad in Riverside Park. John Barclay said having good recreational options was very important in attracting and keeping residents in North Grenville.

Mayor Gordon pointed out that everyone has wants and needs but that the group would have a splash pad someday.

There was a question about how community associations in North Grenville were able to share information with the municipality. Barb Tobin said she was happy with the community relationships with the municipality but there was no harm in trying to make them better. Bill Forbes was disappointed in what he called a lack of communication between the municipality and the various community groups. A question about bringing more community events to North Grenville was answered in a positive way by everyone. The overall issue by those challenging the incumbents at the council table was a concern about transparency and a concern about the real cost of growth.

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