This shoot was again held at the Broxhill Sports Centre at Noak Hill, this time on a rather dull Saturday morning. The co-organiser, Dave Wiltshire greeted us with the news that we would not be able to park on the field. As due to a heavy storm on Friday night the shooting area was like a quagmire. Therefore we parked on the concrete parking area, giving us a slightly longer walk to the target area. We booked in with the other co-organiser, Len Parmenter, who then invited us to have a cup of tea with him, which seems to be turning into a regular routine at shoots held at Broxhill.
After this we set up our gear, but putting in the tent pegs was like pushing them into muddy water, so fingers crossed that the wind wouldn’t get up, as there would be no way to hold the tent down. Others were also having problems for, as soon as you put any item on the ground the muddy water came up and enveloped it. The ground conditions were particularly difficult for the wheelchair archers, as the wheels just dug in.
However, these minor inconveniences were soon overcome and Dave Wiltshire got things under way, with help from our judge for the day, Mick Pearce. Graham was sharing his target with two wheelchair archers so, as I was not shooting (I am still considered able-bodied these days), I took on the scoring, along with Francis Williams’ mother, Jane. We were shooting a full Short Metric – 50m & 30m, whilst younger or less experienced archers were shooting 40m & 20m or even 20m & 10m for those with real difficulties. As this was not a record status shoot, Mick allowed a fairly free interpretation of the rules to keep things moving along, no marking of arrow holes and shooting in ends of six. This way we did not have to waste too much time looking for lost arrows in the mud.
After the first three dozen we stopped for lunch and a comfort break. The weather had held and the afternoon session proceeded as planned, at a slightly quicker pace.
Proceedings were brought to a close with the usual grand raffle and presentation of medals and trophies in the sports hall. Again a most enjoyable shoot under the tolerant and understanding control of our judge, Mick.
Graham Pallett scored 600 (a PB in competition) to gain the Gold Medal, as well as the Best Gold of the day. This, on top of winning a cuddly teddy bear in the raffle.
A feature of the event was the presence of Lynne Burton, technically under medication in a ward of the “Royal Free”, where she is currently undergoing treatment. However, her usual smile was even bigger than usual, as she was now able to let us know that she has been selected for the British Paralympics Archery Team for the Beijing Olympics in August. Needless to say, she won the Ladies Recurve S/M. We all wish her success, after all her hard work.
Mitch Vaughan (Mayflower Archers)