So……at last I’ve received my medal!1st November 2021
Now I feel that I can share my experience of the inaugural Masters age group category National Championships.
As some of you will know I have campaigned for more recognition of this category, within archery, for sometime. Almost all other sports have separated competitions for the over 50s and, at last the day was here, it was Archery’s turn to show that being over 50 does not mean you are NOT not good enough to compete at a very high level.
August 1st 2021 was the day and the weather promised to be kind. I had persuaded a few other Mayflower Archers members to attend the day too, along with several Essex archers. My fellow club members had never competed and were quite apprehensive about how head to head matches were run therefore there were plenty of early morning nerves, at the start, amongst all!
A waiting list was being used, until, thankfully COVID number restrictions were lifted and those who were on it could be added to the shoot.
The target list showed a total of more than 70 Archers attending, including all bow types, ranging from aged 50 to 80 something, which was very pleasing for the first event of its kind.
And at last we were underway…being a masters age group event it meant that all recurve archers would shoot at 60m, barebow, longbow and compound remaining on 50m, all on 122cm faces. The air was filled with much laughter and banter amongst old friends, who have been in the sport for many years and those very new to this type of event, everyone supporting and helping each other along…the morning flew by! And we, a little to quickly, came to the end of our 72 arrow qualification round, I was quite sad it was done!
The ladies recurve group was, unfortunately, quite small so having won the qualification round, I had a bye then progressed straight to the last 4.
Before my turn came around to shoot I had lots of opportunity to watch the gent’s category, which was considerably larger.
My fellow Mayflower club members qualified well but, unfortunately, two of them were drawn against each other in their first match. I watched avidly as John Dibley won through against Mick Goss,a close call, between club rivals!
John progressed through the matches like a pro, having never shot in a head-to-head competition before, he was thrilled. So two Mayflower archers had made it to the semi’s, great news for our club, but it meant we could no longer support each other, from behind the line, as we were shooting simultaneously!
I thoroughly enjoyed my matches, as I always do and was so thrilled to make it through to the gold medal match, against Debbie Geddes, who had been my target companion all.
Winning this event means a lot to me, for many reasons, but just being able to take part in the first every National Masters Age Group tournament, to be held in this country, was so wonderful and will always hold a very special place in my heart.
Well done to all who took part, especially John Dibley, from Mayflower, who in his first head-to-head event finished 3rd, amongst some very experienced company!
I sincerely hope the word will spread and this category of our sport will grow quickly and will
be running alongside the National tour and other large competitions across the country, as it
does all over the world, moving forward.
I have now gained a place at the World Masters Games, being held in Japan in May 2022 and am hoping I have inspired some of you to join me for a once in a lifetime trip!!
Thanks again to Marc Tamlyn and his team for the amazing organisation of the event, hope to cross paths again soon.
Thank you to my sponsor Aim4sport for your support, to my coach Matt Webb for your tireless encouragement and to my husband, just for being wonderful!
Thank you for reading…….Wendie