At the time of writing this blog posting , I am still awaiting news from our senior archers about their successes over the weekend at the Nationals (Simon and Shane) and also the Targetcraft competition, but news from the juniors is reaching me thick and fast as usual.
The day began with the usual kit checks, car loading and short run up the motorway to the Ricoh Stadium in Coventry. It was a bitterly cold morning and the rain was starting when we got there, but the car was quickly unpacked and we headed off to the Jaguar Exhibition Hall where the Junior Nationals were to be staged. Although not shooting, Louis was already there with Leza to experience the atmosphere of a large shoot and both were well into the action of the first session which was underway. We were joined shortly after by Katie and Heather and later in the morning by Bradley and Geoff (Bradley shooting later in the afternoon session).
Anyway, the session started and both Lauren and Katie settled down well. Both girls were to shoot at the same time and on adjacent bosses and both opened with a good first dozen. Lauren found herself shooting in a very strong category and despite posting a great 95 for the first dozen, the leaders were posting 100+ and the leader an impressive 113. Lauren had a wobble midway through the shoot when her finger sling broke resulting in a miss and a poor end, but she knuckled down and finished strongly.
With Naomi (TeamGB Olympian) shooting just 30 yards or so away from the girls (on the other half of the hall) and full of confidence and high hopes, Katie quickly settled into her stride posting some solid ends that saw her name and Archers of Raunds at the top of her category. Heather took the opportunity to take a photograph of the leader board for the family album just in case, but Katie continued to shoot solidly and she remained at the top throughout the session. Better still she pulled out a slight lead and then increased that to four points by the end of the session.
Owing to another commitment in Rushden, Lauren and I could only stay to see Bradley’s first few ends but it was impressive to see him quickly settle into his stride and banging in ten after ten. He was shooting at the business end of the hall and whilst he proudly wore his England kit, he was surrounded by Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland team shirts. Some tough competition but was he daunted? Not on your life. His shooting was smooth, elegant and wonderfully controlled.
Later that day I was extremely pleased to learn that not only had Bradley secured first place in his category, despite that strong opposition, Katie had managed to hold on to second place in her category. Two amazing achievements.
I don’t have the scores at the time of writing, but I’ll update the blog posting as more news reaches me.
Today was an early start for me as I had to be at WOAC for my Level One coaching assessment. A nerve wracking day but I am pleased to say I passed and I’m looking forward to developing my coaching skills further over the coming months.
Meanwhile Lauren was preparing to head over to Targetcraft with Katie to shoot in their Portsmouth competition. I don’t yet have Katie’s score but Lauren bounced back from the previous day brilliantly, to post a 490 (just shy of her personal best). That elusive 500 remains her primary focus but she is definitely getting there and I know that it’ll come very soon.
News has also reached me that Louis raised his personal best for a Portsmouth today as well, posting a fabulous 478. Give the short time that he has been shooting and only a week or two with his new bow, this is most impressive – someone to watch I think.
Did you have a success over the weekend? Please email me details as I’d love to share them with our fellow club members through the blog.