TONY IKEL 29-7-1941 to 25-1-2021
Tony started Archery in 1987 after a have-a-go at Pontins with his two sons. In those days we had no helpful internet and archery was well hidden but eventually we found West Essex Bowmen over at Stubbers and Tony did his beginners course soon followed by sons John and Robin. It was a bit far to get to but then we found Oakfield Archers which was only seven minutes away.
In 1989 Tony became Team Manager of Redbridge Archery at the London Youth Games, a post he held for 30 years and Redbridge became the team it was hard to beat.
Tony soon became interested in coaching, working his way up to Senior Coach/Level 4 and over the years had Archers from lots of clubs come to him for coaching. For some years he coached wheelchair Archers at Stoke Mandeville Hospital which he really enjoyed.
Tony also got interested in Judging and eventually qualified as a National Judge. When shooting at the Malta FITA Star he was asked if he would like to be a Judge the following year, of course he said yes and continued doing so for 15 years.
Unfortunately Tony was diagnosed with cancer of the Larynx in 2003 and then it spread so he had to have a total Laryngectomy in 2004 meaning he had no voice and also couldn’t blow his judges whistle but undaunted he learned Oesophageal speech and bought a battery operated “whistle” (which was meant to go on a motorbike), after a few years he was able to buy a more sophisticated version which most Judges seem to use nowadays.
As if this wasn’t enough to cope with Tony developed Parkinson’s Disease so he had to first give up Field Judging then retire from Judging altogether when SCAS appointed him Judge Emeritus.
This time last year Tony started to do less and it became apparent something was wrong and eventually he saw the right doctor who diagnosed a tumour along his jaw and he went into the Royal London Hospital 8th September. The operation seemed to go well but then there were postoperative complications and he was eventually moved to a Nursing Home where he died.
Tony was one of the first people I met when judging and he encouraged me and many of the others to progress in the sport. He also acted as Senior Records Officer for ECAA and was Team Manager for a number of years.
He will be missed be all.