How long have you been shooting?
I started on a Beginners Course at Perris Archery with Bert Hastings, with my Son Frankie, this was November 2010. At the time Braintree only run a couple of Beginners Courses throughout the year, and we had missed the indoor one, how times have changed now Braintree run 6 courses spread throughout the year.
When did you become a member of Braintree Bowmen?
Both myself and Frankie joined in January 2011.
What got you interested in archery?
Well that was down to Frankie, he had just comeback from a week away with the school doing different activities, and said how much he enjoyed archery, so I thought why not give it a go, as a youngster I was heavily involved in arrows of a different kind, namely darts, I represented London County for 5 years and travelled all over the country competing in competition, rubbing shoulders with Eric Bristow, John Lowe, Jocky Wilson, (oops showing my age now). So archery seemed to appeal to me and gave me and my son some bonding time together.
What has been your great achievement so far in archery?
I’ve represented Essex County on several occasions, which is an achievement that I’m proud off, but the greatest achievement had to be the 3rd place that we won in the Men’s Recurve in the National Team Outdoor Championship 2015, for me winning a medal at a National Tournament has been my pinnacle of my archery career, so far, always room for improvement!! But the embarrassing thing was we had miscalculated the number of points we had won over the weekend event, and thought we hadn’t won a medal so decided to pack up and head down the motorway, to then see the twitter/facebook/archery gb website images of the Men’s Recurve podium missing the Essex Team, my one claim to fame, and I missed the opportunity.
What has been your funniest moment in archery?
Well there is always a laugh on the shooting line, from Trevor Harvey standing at full draw at Raydon Hall Indoor American to then seeing his quiver give way and end up around his ankles, but he still stayed focused and finished the shot. To me doing my first competition where I camped, this was a Double WA1440 at Andover, so I thought okay I have a two man tent in the garage that the kids used to use, that would be fine. Didn’t bother to test the tent before the weekend, so proceeded to turn up at the field to find other archers with monster tents that you could fit a family of 10. I started to set my tent up, and all I got from the contingent of Essex archers was sniggers and laughs, I asked what you laughing about, they said that you are never going to fit in that tent. And they were right by the time the inflatable bed was inside then me on top, there was two bulges coming out of the tent, one my head and two my feet. Needless to say that tent has never been used again.
What advice would you give to a novice/beginner to concentrate on to try and improve their performance?
Practice, practice, practice. I saw a huge improvement in my form, when I got a target for the garage and would shoot a 100 or so arrows at close range into my garage every day, things just seemed to fall in place, with the practice. Also when I started I had an appetite to read information about what I should or shouldn’t be doing, which gave me a wealth of knowledge. Also people shouldn’t be afraid to get advice from coaches, etc. They too have a wealth of knowledge and can help immensely to people progression. But ultimately you only get out what you put in, in terms of effort equals reward.
What's the best archery advice you have received and who from?
I would say that from those first lessons at Perris with Bert Hastings, something that has stuck with me, was all you need to do is just keep moving that elbow backwards and loose. Continuous drawing is the basis of good form, don’t stop until the arrow lands in the target. Bert other little tip was as it is hard to see what your elbow is doing, he used to pinch the skin above his elbow before shooting, as it seemed to help him visualise where the elbow was.
What are your targets for 2017 and beyond?
I’ve set my goal on improving my National Ranking and breaking into the Top 50 in the country, currently I’m 69th. Also to get a Master Bowmen classification, I’ve not quite made the three qualification scores in one season, so this year, that is my major objective.