Happy New Year!
Looking back, 2017 was a good year for me. It started a little awkwardly but finished really strongly. I had a number of successes both in Target & Field Archery.
2018 will be a very busy year.
In target archery I am hoping to qualify for the Europa Cup in Italy and the European championships in Greece as well as the Youth Olympics in Argentina. The former two fall in the period of my GCSE examinations at school, which could cause a major complication – as these two championships are likely to have a bearing on the Youth Olympics, it could well be that my season’s achievements may be tempered by my vital school commitments, however I shall be working with my school to see what can be achieved.
In field archery, I have already surpassed the required selection scores for the World championships in Italy in September, so hopefully I should have already booked a seat on the plane for that event as long as I keep shooting well during the year. In addition, I am also going to try to qualify (as a senior GB team member) for the European 3D championships which are to be held in Gothenburg, Sweden (also in September).
As you can see 2018 will prove to be an extremely challenging year for me both in my archery and academic life. It's going to be interesting !
Well, it's half way through the year so I thought it about time I did a catch up blog.
It's been an interesting year so far.
In March I decided to refocus my training and left the Archery GB Academy in favour of the competition route. This decision was not taken lightly and was due to circumstances beyond my control and which I won't go into here. Anyway, I teamed up with my personal coach Kath Fitzpatrick again (not that we had ever 'un-teamed up!').
In early April I went out to Arizona to shoot in the AZ Cup. We stayed with our good friends out there and enjoyed some gorgeous weather. In terms of the archery, I didn't shoot brilliantly but still managed to scrape a 9th place - which considering how I shot was pleasing.
March, April & May were very busy months with field archery and consolidating my scores for selection for the European Championships in Slovenia in August.
May also saw the beginning of the selection shoots for the World Junior Target Championships in Argentina. I didn't have the best of starts for various technical reasons, and as the later selection shoot clashed with the European Field Champs I made the difficult decision to focus on field for this year as far as my international focus was concerned. It was a decision that paid immediate benefits. Later in May I shot my best ever field scores ever at the All British Field Championships breaking Patrick Huston's national record for the age category. I then continued my good form into target archery shooting my best ever 70m 720 score (638) at the National Series in Evesham.
In early June I was selected to represent Great Britain in Slovenia in August which I was really please with. Later in the month I also broke 2 national records in target archery.
I also picked up my new NX-55 limbs from KG Archery, and they are AWESOME. So quick and of superb quality.
July has seen my good form continue at the Junior National Outdoor Championships where I won the National Championships breaking another national record in the process. I have just returned from the National Series weekend in Surrey where I shot well and my scores are progressing nicely.
As you can see it's been a busy half year!
World Field Archery Championships, New Academy and New Sponsors!
It's been a busy time since my last Blog.
My target season has finished now and all in all I am pretty happy with how
it went. Now it's all systems go for Ireland and the World Field Archery Championships which start on 26th September. I fly from Birmingham with
some of the team on 25th, the rest of the team are making their own way
from their regional airports, or driving depending on where they live.
Preparation is going well, and my shooting and distance judging at
Wrexham last week was very pleasing. Once I get my sight marks zoned
in I should be good to go. I'm really looking forward to my first World
Champs, and I know it will be great fun with the team.
Last weekend saw the launch of the new archery GB academy system.
I am pleased to say that I have been moved up to the Confirmation
Academy which consists of 2 cadets and 4 junior men, and 3 cadet and 4
junior women. It's an exciting time for us all, and I was really happy to have
been allocated Songi Woo as my academy coach. I am sure we will work
well together. I will of course continue to work closely with Kath Fitzpatrick
who has been so helpful in helping me get to where I am so far in my archery.
On the sponsorship front I am pleased to say that Errea Active Tense and
Pilla Sports have joined 'Team Joe'. As with all my sponsors, their equipment
is fantastic and I urge everyone to take a look at their websites by clicking on their logo on my website.
Well, that's about it for now - I guess my next Blog will be after the World Field Championships, so wish me luck and I
shall see you all soon.
The first thing I noticed about Phoenix Arizona was how neat and tidy it was. I was expecting a bit of a dust bowl but actually it was anything but that. The weather was a lot hotter than in the UK obviously, with the temperature between 79F and 101F in the shade.
During practice it was really hot - so hot in fact that I could feel the heat coming up through my training shoes!
They have a great practice range near where we stayed. it's open to the public and has targets already set out to shoot, although these were mainly layered foam and well used, so our friends took their own stand and target to shoot at. We were practising at the same time as the Canadian team that were here for the cup too
It took me a couple of days to get used to the heat and to get over jet lag, but after that I was OK. The KG XCR riser and NEXGEN limbs showed no signs of being affected by the weather and shot just the same as they do at home. the Vaportrail strings also performed flawlessly. The air was a lot drier though and my sight needed to be adjusted to take account of that.
Practice went pretty well given the heat and by the time qualification came around I felt pretty confident.
Before I travelled to the competition everyone who had been there before told me that it was windy. They were right!
The Ben Avery range is a huge (and I mean huge) complex dedicated to shooting (mainly) guns but also has its own dedicated archery area and its own weather.
Official practice and the qualification round were windy and hot. The wind on qualification day was very variable and very tricky to shoot in. My new Carbofast Slim Jim stabilisers were fantastic and allowed me to hold on the gold easily. I scored 629 which was a personal best competition score and this placed me 9th going into the head to heads against some tough opposition.
The first two rounds of the head to heads went well, with me only dropping 2 points. My 1/8th round was against someone who I met in Alabama last year, so we had a good friendly rivalry - his qualification score was only one point higher than mine so we knew it was going to be close. The scores went: 1-1, 2-2, 2-4, 4-4, 5-5. This meant that we had to go into a one arrow shoot off. I scored a good 9, but he scored an even better 10 so he won and progressed through (eventually winning the silver medal). It was such a close contest that even our total scores only differed by 1 point in the end! I was really pleased with how I shot and managed myself through the whole competition, and whist I am disappointed I didn't get further, I achieved my aim of a top 10 finish by finishing 9th overall.
I had a great time in Phoenix and really enjoyed the whole experience. I learned a lot and I am sure that it will help me in my shooting in the future. Our hosts were fantastic people and so was everyone we met. They were so kind to us and I can't wait to go back again.
I would just like to thank all my sponsors - your respective equipment never let me down once!
Vapor Trail Archery
Pro Boss Archery
Class Energy Ltd
Xs Wings archery vanes
Kath Fitzpatrick Archery Coaching
Lale Krivacevic Silver Archery limited
Cookridge Hall Health & Fitness
The Bramhope Trust
Friends and Family
and all my new American friends who were there cheering me on
As 2015 comes to a close I would just like to take this opportunity to thank all of my sponsors and supporters for helping me make this the best year yet for me. I have met some great people, travelled to some fantastic places and achieved a lot. All the messages of support from my friends on Facebook and Twitter throughout the year have helped to drive me on and they have really been appreciated - especially when I have been abroad shooting. They make a BIG difference.
2016 is looking to be another great year - Arizona Cup in April, GB selection shoot in June with the possibility of the European Youth Championships in Romania in July and the World Field Archery Championships in Ireland in September. It's going to be a very busy year and I am sure that with the help of my coach Kath Fitzpatrick and all my support network (including my school Prince Henry's Grammar, who have been really supportive) I can achieve what I want to. Once again thank you everyone!
I've just arrived home from a fantastic week in Hungary shooting at my first IFAA World Bowhunter Championships. The trip out was pretty uneventful. My dad and I flew with Ryan Air from Manchester to Budapest, arriving on Sunday 23rd August. The weather was lovely and sunny which made a nice change from the rubbish weather we've been having in the UK this summer.