This weekend, I took part in the Combined National Indoor Championships which also happened to be my first big competition. And big it was! 62 bosses set up in Coventry’s Ricoh Arena was an impressive sight, as were the number of the UK’s top archers in attendance. Most importantly for me, this was also my first time shooting as part of GB’s Para team.
Competing against the country’s best archers was a nerve-wracking affair and the sense of occasion got to me during the first half of the WA 18m round resulting in 4 misses and a ranking of 45 out of 62. However, the halfway break gave me an opportunity to give myself a pep talk and the second half went much better – no misses and a ranking of 18. Much better! Overall, I scored 477 and came 38th so missed out on making it into the top 32 who went on to the second round.
The competition was a fantastic learning experience for me and gave me my first glimpse into what it might be like competing on an international level. There’s so much to consider beyond just your own shooting – temperature of the environment, proximity to other archers, lighting…I could go on and on. I loved the challenge and can only hope that this was the first of many competitions for me as part of GB’s excellent Para team.
Top moment of the day? That’s an easy one. It came when I shot a 29 end and Olympian Amy Oliver, who was on the same boss as me, congratulated me on my nice shooting. Just goes to show that Para athletes can able bodied archers a run for their money!
And did I mention that I was the highest ranking para female? So proud of that. Onwards and upwards!