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Good Start to the Outdoor Season

If only we knew!!

Some 10 years ago this picture was taken on a day out to Bodium castle! Have a go, said this gentleman! Its only £2!!

Archery….. After £10 I was hooked, but I was just 6 years old! But I want to do archery, not football!

I was too young to be accepted by a club, although my name was down on lists! And gradually over the next 3 years I went to every fete stall and “had a go!” and Deno days during school holidays run by RTCA.

Finally at the age of 9 I was in a club!

This was the start of my archery……….

Going from local competitions, to a little further out! I started winning competitions, collecting county records, even the only junior in Essex to have a 6 gold end in Clout! I was called for County!  Then in 2011 I won the Indoor under 14 Nationals!

Someone made a comment, after this event!  Where did he come from!

I started coaching with Mike Peart, and it was Mike who suggested I applied for the “new” academies which archery GB were starting….. 18 months of hard training, weekly logs and lots of arrow repairs I was offered a place on the Southern academy, once a month I travel to Gloucester for a weekend of training, coaching and shooting.

My Coach became Tony Ferguson.  During the outdoor season last year I carried on shooting in competitions and realised almost at the end I had qualification scores!!! But I was 1 short to be able to submit them!

Team “me” came to the rescue and at 4am one morning we were on our way to the “last chance competition”! In Leicester…  I did it…. I had my last qualification score needed!

Winter season I hardly entered competitions, Academy was still every month, this was the time when I was “worked on!” changing technics, trying new things and lots of frustration!

 Fast forward………………………………

April this year was one very busy April, managing to get away on holiday to New York for the only 5 days we all had together! The hotel had a gym….training never stops

 Followed by a weekend to Kirby Muxloe, then to Gloucester academy, and then the GB selection shoot. (Dad tells me some 1600 miles travelled by car!)  I slept for most of those!!

If I’m honest top 10 was my goal, this was some BIG competition almost like the nationals…but everyone wanting the all important place…and the GB shirt! The atmosphere was so different to any competition I had shot in before. 

I qualified 5th for GB and although just outside the all-important top 3 and reserve, I was please.

Then on the Monday we received and email!

Congratulations on qualifying for the second part of the English Archery Federation selection process for the Junior Commonwealth Games, Samoa 2015.

Back to Lilleshall the following Monday!  I was lying in 2nd place.  A full day of head to heads, between the top 4.

After the day had finished and all the head to heads were done, I held onto my second place, I had made it I was reserve for Samoa! (Yep I googled it to see where it was too!)

As it stands at present I’m classed as Non travelling (due to funding!) but I can be called upon up to 24 hours before. It’s so frustrating knowing all the flight numbers and the itinery, taking part in webinars and even submitting the size for my England kit!! Knowing I probably won’t be going, but I am proud I achieved it!

Qualifying for this gave me automatic selection for the Home nations at the junior outdoor nationals on the 4th July at Lillieshall, I would be representing England!!

Again having just moved into the under 18s section (by 2 weeks – blame my parents!) I could only do my best!  Not only was I shooting for myself I had the shirt! I was shooting for the England team! No pressure!

Again top 10 personally was my goal, I had tough competition from top junior archers who were just about to become seniors and very experienced!

I am pleased, very pleased England won!   And I finished 5th on the Saturday, Sunday I finished 3rd and came home with a bronze medal and a new personal Best by over 20 points! 

Already this season I have 13 JMB’s! And new county records, new PB’s and a “spare bow”! This is serious now!! 

If only this man knew some 10 years ago that it hasn’t turned out to be “just £2 to have a go”! But what a journey I have has so far…….and it’s just beginning……………………

Alex Body