What got you into shooting?
I was inspired by the Sydney 2000 Olympics and watching older athletes compete and thought it was interesting as in my early 20s you were considered too old for certain sports. I also liked the control and serenity of archery.
A couple of years later I had a go at the local university, University of Sussex. At the time I was studying a professional qualification through work, so was I part of NUS which enabled me to shoot at weekends with the club.
One summer, the university visited a local club, Ditchling. I remained shooting with them over the summer and gradually became a member there.
Unfortunately in 2006, as I still have the race t-shirt, I fractured my ankle in a charity run. At the time I was running more than I was shooting. However the injury kept me from walking properly and after advice from physios, my running days were over as my ankle was too badly damaged. I’ve tried going back to running over the years but my ankle won’t tolerate it.
So that left me with archery. At this point, I was in the last three years of my professional qualification so I could only shoot for three months then study hard for three months.
After qualifying and encouragement through Ditchling AC members, I ventured out of the club and started competing in tournaments from 2012. After a year or two, I started medalling and found a local coach to support me. After a while, I surprised myself by starting to win at local and regional shoots.
What are your goals and ambitions?
To shoot consistently over 600 at a 720 round. I have done it a few times.
To gain a third selection place for the England team.
To be in the quarter-finals at a National Series event – just so I can have my own target to shoot on!
Achieve GMB. GMB and I have unfinished business!
What was your best archery achievement?
Selected for England for Indoors in 2014 where I was part of the England team which won the recurve home nations. Also winning a shoot off the same day and finishing 9th. Also, part of the England team for 2017 outdoors home nations event.
I have shot for Sussex County since 2012 and it still gives me a thrill.
Winning the Sussex championships in 2014 for the first time amongst the tough competition and then the second time the year after as the pressure was huge. I have won it 4 times since.
Winning the SCAS Championships 3 times since 2014.
Winning Oxford Archery weekend 2014 in the terrible winds. It was a strong competitive field and the win was a complete surprise.
Winning SCAS Intercounties 2016 in horrific wind and rain, again at Oxford against some of the best archers in the country. Again a complete surprise.
Being part of the SCAS mixed regional team winning at the National Target Championships in 2014.
Achieving Master Bowman for the first time in 2014.
Do you do anything outside of Archery?
Mainly a full-time job. Yoga. Going for walks. Fitness training for my general health and archery. There’s not enough time!
What’s the best part of archery for you?
The ability to switch off whilst shooting, clear your head and focus. It’s good for experiencing being in the moment. Learning to improve yourself.
Meeting other people at tournaments and going to different places in the UK.
What are your current achievements?
It has been quiet for me the last 2 years due to different illnesses and injuries, so instead, I have been concentrating on fitness which has taken time to learn. Hopefully, it will all pay off in the long term in the years ahead.
What do you enjoy the most about being a sportsperson?
Learning about the technology of the sport is like learning physics. Learning how to improve your mental game and your physical health. Developing a mental mindset.
What is your current training program (Arrows a day, gym sessions etc.)?
I shoot twice in the evenings at a club. Then in the mornings on Saturday and Sunday if I am not competing. If I am competing, then the weekend is spent shooting.
I shoot about 350 arrows a week, it has been higher at 400. It depends on time. I am learning to rotate the volume I shoot because of work pressures which are unavoidable.
I do yoga nearly every day, stretches, mobility training, dumbell weights. I have no time to go to the gym. When I can I go on a 1-2 mile walk once a week.