Darryl Rudyard (Rud) Henderson
Darryl Rudyard Henderson, or "Rud" as he is most commonly known, was an accomplished archer, a devoted coach, and a tireless promoter of good stewardship in hunting and sports.
Rud began his pursuit of personal excellence in the sport of Archery in 1976 and achieved great success before ending his competitive career in 1986. In only 10 short years, he amassed 35 medals, set 12 Canadian records, and was regularly named the top Heavy-Tackle archer in provincial and Canadian competitions. One of the greatest personal achievements an archer can obtain is the rare and elusive "Robin Hood" in which the archer shoots an arrow into the centre of the target, and a second arrow is shot into the end of the first. As a testament to his incredible talent, Rud skillfully achieved 12 Robin Hoods in his 10-year Archery career.
While there is no question Rud enjoyed a natural talent for the sport, he attributes much of his success to hard work and rigorous training. When qualifying for the Western Canada Summer Games, and garnering a place on the Alberta Team in the Canadian Archery Championships, Rud was known to practice three hours per day on weekdays and seven hours on weekends.
After seven-and-a-half years as a specialist in the Heavy-Tackle with Sights category, Rud switched to Freestyle competition with the hopes of qualifying for the 1984 Olympics. After months of grueling training and mental preparation, Rud narrowly missed qualifying at the Calgary trials, but he was thankful for the opportunity to grow in a different specialty in the sport he knew and loved.
Locally, Rud was very active in the RedHat Archers Club. As a talented handyman, he is recognized for almost single-handedly building a field course for the Club. He used his extensive electrical skills to build and maintain a timing system to host competitions. He was counted on to organize tournaments at the local Club and was the first to volunteer at other regional events like the Southern Alberta Summer Games, and more. During his term as President of the RedHat Archers, he was a great leader, encouraging archers of all ages to pursue the ancient art of archery in the modern era.
Rud was a fervent supporter of archery clinics for young people and spent considerable time coaching them in this context. He obtained his Level Three coaching certificate which qualified him to coach all the way up to the Olympic level. In 1977, he coached 13-year-old Keith Johnson and a team of eight other youngsters from Alberta who competed at the Summer Games in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Most notably, Rud will be remembered in Medicine Hat for his commitment to the stewardship of the sport. He has contributed articles to the Bow Bender magazine about sportsmanship in both the sport of hunting, as well as competition. And he practiced what he preached; as fellow archer Jack Woodward recalls, "Rud never sacrificed camaraderie and sportsmanship for the sake of winning."
During his archery career, Rud worked in Medicine Hat as an electrician and focused on family life with his wife and two daughters. He left Medicine Hat in 1992 to obtain his Industrial Instrumentation Technology diploma at S.A.I.T., graduating with honours. He remarried in 1994 to his current wife Doreen and together they travelled to Newfoundland, San Diego, Texas, Oklahoma, and Mexico for Darryl’s various job placements commissioning systems and completing live control system swing-overs for industrial and oil and gas clients.
Rud currently resides in the Red Deer area, working for Cenovus Energy at Christina Lake, and is looking forward to returning to archery in a recreational capacity.
Darryl Rudyard Henderson will be forever revered on Medicine Hat’s Sports Wall of Fame as Medicine Hat’s own “Golden Archer.”