Oliver Buckingham

Oli

What got you into shooting?

Movies certainly had a big impact! Watching franchises like The Lord of the Rings and The Hunger Games made archery look super exciting. But my favourite film featuring bows and arrows has to be the 1991 classic Robin Hood Prince of the Thieves. The score for the opening titles still gives me chills. I don’t think there’s a 12 year old around who wouldn’t have found an arrow-slinging Kevin Costner the epitome of cool!

While I was watching all these films, Dad found an old fibreglass toy bow that he had mucked around with as a child. Once I got my hands on that, I was hooked. I would spend hours in the garden shooting at cardboard boxes, until eventually my parents stuck me on a beginners course at Aim4Sport. Archery’s been a massive part of my life ever since!

What are you goals and ambitions?

My ultimate ambition is to win medals on the world stage. Right now though, as I negotiate my final year of A Levels, my aim is just to remain nationally competitive within my age bracket. At the moment, I am making the transition between 60 and 70 meter outdoor distances, so not letting my arrow averages drop too much across that distance change seems like a good goal!

 

 What was your best archery achievement?

I’m particularly proud of the silver medal I won at this year’s Youth Festival (2019) in the cadet mixed team division. I hadn’t been shooting my best before and during much of the tournament, but I was able to produce strong arrows when it mattered, which is always super satisfying.

  

Do you do anything outside of archery?

I’m afraid schoolwork takes up most of my time outside of archery! Balancing archery and academic commitments it always a challenge, but it’s something I’m gradually getting improving at. However, when I’m not studying or shooting, you can often find me at the cinema, watching stand-up comedy, or going for a run. And while it may sound pretentious, I’m also a sucker for theatre and poetry. The work of ‘Banjo’ Patterson, Dylan Thomas, and Ella Wheeler Wilcox are among my favourites, but nothing comes close to Shakespeare (and I will fight anyone who says he’s boring!). My favourite play’s Macbeth, FYI.

  

What’s the best part of archery for you?

I love that you can enjoy the feeling of shooting one good arrow, while targeting an overarching goal into which each shot is just a small part. This means you can enjoy the sport on both the micro and macro scale. Because of how a good archery performance is built on many consistent, strong shots, the achievement of a large goal leaves you feeling hugely accomplished.

But if you want the simple answer, just the feeling of a letting an arrow go and knowing it’s a good one is pretty fantastic. There’s nothing like it!

What are you current achievements?

  • Former indoor and outdoor Hertfordshire county champion
  • Member of the Hertfordshire county archery team for three years (2017-19)
  • Two silver medals at the Archery GB Youth Festival (2017 and 2019)
  • Top ten finishes at Junior National Championships from 2016 onwards (both indoor and outdoor)
  • Two bronze medals from Archery GB Key Events (2018 and 2019)

 

 What do you enjoy the most about being a sportsperson?

Probably the purpose it gives you. Setting goals and then putting in the work to achieve them is very satisfying. Plus, I’ve met so many great friends while being an archer!

  

What is your current training program?

My volumes vary depending on the level of my academic work, but a good week would look like:

  • 350 arrows (both blank boss and with a target face), prioritising quality over quantity
  • Three core/pre-hab sessions
  • Two cardio-vascular exercise sessions (often a run)
  • 5 sets of bow drills
  • Two sets of reversals
  • 6 sets of skills and drills