Tanner Kenney, owner of True North Axe Throwing in Red Deer, says he loves the sport. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Sport of axe throwing growing in Red Deer

True North Axe Throwing wants sport to be ‘Canadian version of darts’

Axes aren’t just for chopping down trees anymore.

The sport of axe throwing may be in “its pioneer stage,” but it’s growing quickly, said Tanner Kenney, owner of True North Axe Throwing in Red Deer.

“We definitely have the ambition and a goal for where it’s going to be in five or 10 years. We’re aiming to be the Canadian version of darts essentially,” said Kenney, 25.

True North Axe Throwing, which also has locations in Lethbridge and the United States, recently launched a Wednesday night league in Red Deer.

“One guy in our league … is throwing in a wheelchair and he’s doing really well. The league is awesome and it’s a cool environment. It doesn’t matter what limitations you have or whether you’re a competitive person or not, you can come do this and be part of the community,” said Kenney.

Twenty-seven people from central Alberta compete in the league.

Even though it’s a new sport, the learning curve “isn’t as steep as people may think,” said Kenney.

“It’s mostly a mental sport – a really casual and fun sport. What you put into it is what you get out of it.

“It’s pretty remarkable how good people are getting in Red Deer. We have a bunch of new throwers who are already throwing perfect games.”

Kenney said the sport is growing internationally.

“There’s a lot of money in the sport – it really is a fast-growing sport. It’s definitely picking up bigger sponsors and some throwers are sponsored by companies.”

He first learned about axe throwing when looking for part-time work while attending the University of Lethbridge. He was eventually hired at the Lethbridge True North Axe Throwing location.

“I just fell in love with the sport and decided to invest some money into it and open up my own place,” he said.

True North Axe Throwing will host a tournament, sanctioned by the National Axe Throwing Federation, in Red Deer this September. Kenney said some of the world’s best will compete for a $5,000 grand prize at the event.

For more information on axe throwing in Red Deer, visit www.truenorthaxe.com.


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