Our team member, Susan Thompson has shown the club another place where women can achieve more than men. We are proud and delighted to announce she’s officially made it into the Senior Welsh Team and will represent our country at the next Commonwealth Archery Championship Europe (http://welsharcheryassociation.com/).
Susan’s shooting career has been an ever-growing one. She has started not long ago, and after achieving the Bowman Classification last year, she has been constantly improving her scores knocking out those golden targets with persistence.
We’ve asked her some questions, for you to enjoy.
Club: How did you get into Archery?
Susan: A friend of mine, Peter Atherton, thought I would enjoy archery and kindly loaned me one of his compound bows. He guided me through the process (actually it was strict supervision, he is very safety conscious!) and I must say I loved it from the outset. For the purists amongst you who may be thinking why a compound bow, I’d broken my leg and was in a wheelchair at the time (2016) and Peter thought the compound would be easier to handle.
Club: How do you feel about it?
Susan: I probably cycle through a whole host of feelings:
- Thankful that I was introduced to such a fascinating sport and have learnt so much and met so many interesting people.
- Delighted when I first got my Bowman Classification in August 2020, greatly encouraged by my friend and fellow archer Angelo Maragna. .
- Frustrated when sometimes despite best attempts, the shooting doesn’t go to plan, the learning process is endless 🙂
- Fascinated as the sport takes you on a journey of self discovery.
Club: What do you like and dislike of Archery?
Susan: Archery is such an all inclusive sport, I particular like the fact it draws people from all walks of life, providing the opportunity of physical activity, fun, building a skill set, relaxation/social. I enjoy visiting new Clubs, meeting new people and competing. Dislikes, well I guess that would be scoring and shooting in the rain but you get used to it!
Club: What do you think when you run your shooting cycle?
Susan: Honestly, first and foremost I try not to get distracted! I think working on ‘mental mastery’ is a an ongoing process, you never stop learning. This is turn means ‘tweaking’ your thought process as you learn something new, so am always working on one aspect of the shooting cycle.
Club: How often/where do you train?
Susan: I train at the Club on a Wednesday evening and Sunday morning (weather permitting). Additionally, I shoot whenever the opportunity presents itself whether at the Club, or other places I have access to.
“the sport takes you on a journey of self discovery”
Club: How important is your bow as compared to your technique in achieving good scores?
Susan: Well, as my Dad would say “you need the right tools for the job”. I’m not technically gifted, but my coach Pete Pendry ensures my bow/arrows are in good working order, shares his words of wisdom gained through a lifetime of archery and the rest is down to me! I would say assuming your equipment is setup correctly, your technique is the biggest influence on outcomes.
Club: How many records do you currently hold?
Susan: To date 34 in total
- 14 Corus Club Records,
- 13 NWAS Records,
- 7 WAA Records in the Ladies Compound and Ladies Masters Compound Classifications (some awaiting update to website).
Club: What advice can you give to a beginner?
- Listen to the COACH!
- Have fun learning something new and making new friends.
- If you have the opportunity at your Club to ‘buddy up’ with someone to shoot with on regular basis, mutual encouragement helps.
- An ‘App’ on your phone really helps with the number crunching e.g iarcher or the equivalent for Android.
- There are many schemes where you shoot various distances and can gain badges, e.g. at Club level the 252 scheme, fun to collect.
- Have a goal each time you shoot, it helps increase motivation, self-confidence and focus.
Club: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Susan: quoting USA Archery “Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or even advanced archer, Archery will give you ‘something’ that’s almost impossible to find elsewhere”
Now, let’s go find your archery ‘something’, have fun, see you at the range 🙂
Thanks for your time Susan, for making us proud, and once again congratulations.
What’s left to say more? See you on the line.