Jenny Collins

What got you into shooting?

I started shooting in 1992 as something to do with my dad when he was back from working away.  Links Archers was quite big (by Scottish standards!) and was really encouraging to juniors.  About 18 months after I started shooting SAA were short of girls for the Scottish Junior Team, so at age 14 I started shooting 70m with a one-piece wooden bow (a Greenhorn GreenKat) that stacked like mad and I had about 24lb on my fingers!  I made my first junior team in 1995 (now shooting a KG1), Scottish Senior Team in 1996 and British Squad in 1997 (I shot over 1200 for a Ladies WA 1440 with a KG1 at about 30lbs and X7 arrows).  I represent GB in the Czech Republic, the USA and Italy.

United Kingdom Royal Air Force Flight Lt. Jennifer Collins reacts to winning gold in the 2017 Department of Defense Warrior Games July 3, 2017. The DoD Warrior Games are an annual event allowing wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans to compete in Paralympic-style sports. (DoD photo by EJ Hersom)

Due to injury and joining the RAF I stopped shooting around 2002 and started again in 2007.  This time with Oxford Archers.  I had some really good results and shot at Vegas and Nimes (I was 8 months pregnant at the time).  When I had my eldest archery stopped shooting again.

Fast forward to 2017 and I was in the process of being medically discharged from the RAF.  It was suggested that getting back to archery and trying for the Invictus Team might help my recovery.  It took a lot of persuasion but I picked up my bow again and was selected for the Warrior Games (US version of Invictus) in 2017 and the Invictus Team in 2018.  I’m a member of Old Basing Archers (who are a great bunch) and I am really enjoying archery being a major part of my life again.

What are you goals and ambitions?

I’m still working these out!  Definitely to consistently shoot over 600 for a WA 720, be a regular member of the English Team, get my GMB and get to a National Tour Final.  However, achieving a balance between archery and family life is really important to me too.

What was your best archery achievement?

As a junior, it was a world record for a WA25 in 1998.  It also qualified me for the GB Senior Team that went to Cuba for the Indoor World Champs in 1999.  I didn’t make the team but went to the shoot-off which was a great experience.

Second time round was shooting another indoor qualifying score for the GB indoor team – but they didn’t send a team that year and being the highest scoring lady in my flight at Vegas.

Third time back – winning the Individual and Team gold medals at the Warrior Games.  It wasn’t the shooting that was the achievement it was how far I’d come to fight my mental health problems, stand on a shooting line and enjoy the process that was the achievement.  I won individual gold and team bronze the following year in Sydney but it doesn’t compare to the Warrior Games medals, as they represent a personal battle that is much bigger than sport.

Do you do anything outside of Archery?

I really enjoy dressmaking and making useful things out of fabric.  I am also a qualified sports massage therapist and training to be a performance lifestyle advisor/coach. 

What’s the best part of archery for you?

The process.  The training over and over again to get everything the same shot after shot and then stand on the line and shoot that arrow perfectly.  That’s the best bit!

Travelling to different countries has also been pretty cool.

What are your current achievements?

Following the 2019 season, I was ranked 32nd in the UK, came 4th in the National series event at Surrey and was selected for the England Winter Training Squad.

I also broke the 1100 mark for a Hereford – whilst not relevant in ‘today’s money’ it was something I have been trying to do since I was 16!

What do you enjoy the most about being a sportsperson?

The travel and the opportunity to push yourself, achieving things people think you won’t be able to do.

What is your current training program (Arrows a day, gym sessions etc.)?

Outdoors I try and shoot at least 4 times a week at 70m and if that is not possible I’ll top up with short distance, high volume in the back garden.  I’ve just started working with the performance team at Go Perform in Reading to develop an S&C program that will minimise injury risk and increase my mobility and core strength.  I also see an osteopath on a regular basis to help manage old injuries.