The SANIFAA Medal of Honor is awarded to individuals in recognition of outstanding and unselfish contributions to archery in South Africa in all of its phases.  Such individuals shall also be awarded an Honorary Life Membership.

In March 2012 at the SANIFAA Annual Congress, the Medal of Honor Committee awarded the Medal of Honor and Honorary Life Membership to two SANIFAA members who have served the National Association and the sport of archery in South Africa with honor and passion.


Loet Smit

Loet is not an active archer anymore because of his shoulder injury in a car accident and can no longer draw a bow. Loet resides in South Africa and is presently the President of IFAA.

Some personal background:

  • Started archery in 1990.
  • Early 1991 he was representative of the Guthrie’s club in the TFAA.
  • In October 1991 he became the SANIFAA (then the NIFAA) president.
  • In 1992 organised the WFAC in Sandton
  • In 1993 he became the Secretary-General of the then Council for Archery Sports.
  • 1994 team manager of the NIFAA team at the WFAC1994 in England and also became the first Field Archer to receive Protea Colours.
  • In 1994 he was nominated for the position of the IFAA Secretary and started in that position in 1995.
  • Organised the 1995 WBHC in Louis Trichard.
  • Retired in 2000 from the SANIFAA due to commitments with the IFAA and his imminent move to Mozambique.
  • Organised the 2000 WFAC in Thabazimbi.
  • Elected President of the IFAA in 2005.

 

His main drive in archery:

  • To unify the various archery associations in a manner that their individual character is not affected.
  • To make archers understand that the enjoyment of the sport takes precedence over achievement.
  • To make archery available to all and in a style in which you are most comfortable.
 

 

JEAN-PIERRE DE VILLIERS

 

  • Started trying archery with a friends bow in about 1991; then did an archery course (given by Loet Smit) in 1992 and after being a spectator at 1992 WFAC was hooked on archery.
  • Over the following years he was voted on to the TIFAA (Transvaal Indoor and Field Archery Association committee) and soon after, onto the SANIFAA committee as treasurer.
  • After L. Smit’s resignation and a roughly 18 months occupation of the Presidents seat by another incumbent, JP was elected SANIFAA President in 1997.
  • His term included the period when changes in the RSA moved to a more democratic regime, and the accompanying changes in SASCOC policies and funding requirements meant that the elitist sport of archery was cut off from any assistance in funding. This exclusion of archery lasted for about ten years before the new SASCOC policies and appreciation for the world quality of our archers contributed to doors again opening for possible SASCOC/Lottery funding.
  • During his term, He restructured the SANIFAA committee and added Vice President Positions. Flowing from these changes and the successful hosting of the World 3D and World Bow-hunter championships, He ensured that the SANIFAA finances and stability soared by growing the almost non-existent funds to a healthy bank account of hundreds of thousands of rand.
  • During his term managing the SANIFAA, he also he organised and managed the  World 3D Championship in 2002 and the World Bow-hunter Championship in 2005.

During his active archery shooting years, he was awarded Protea Colours 9 times, won all the local events in one year or the other, and brought home two world championships medals.

He was the first RSA Protea archer to compete in the new IFAA World 3D championship in Australia, and during the years he competed at the following world events:

World 3D Championship
World Field Championship
World Bow-hunter Championship
World Field Championship
World Bow-hunter Championship
World Field Championship
World Bow-hunter Championship
World Field Championship
World Bow-hunter Championship
World Field Championship
World Field Championship

Australia
Germany
RSA
New Zeeland
Germany
RSA
USA
Scotland
Italy
USA
Australia

1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2006

He retired from SANIFAA in 2010 after 13 years at the wheel, but remained as advisor and Treasurer for another year to assist the new officers who had stepped up to steer the ship. He started the Western Cape Field Archery Association after moving to the Cape and now runs the Stellenbosch Archery club.

Personal thoughts on the past years

During the years I have seen so many archers come and go, and can count on one-hand the enthusiastic few still around, who were there at the start. My love for the sport and the enjoyment thereof never ends. Unfortunately too many archers are just chasing after medals and colours rather than enjoying the fun aspects and the outdoor freedom.

I am forever grateful to Loet Smit who introduced me to proper archery and who single-handedly cemented the once unbalanced and rocky foundations of the SANIFAA in South Africa. He continues to sets a pristine example of unselfish commitment and contribution to the running of our sport; at first locally and now as International President at the IFAA.

I must again also thank those on the committee during the early years that were so dedicated and enthusiastic, without whom, we would never have achieved so much and had so much fun. Particular thanks to Benito van Leeuwen, Grant Gammon and the lovely Aurelle Medalie.