Debbie Exceeds Expectations at BBS

Another report has reached me following more success over the weekend.  This time it is Deb who headed up north for the British Blinds Sports shoot at Lilleshaw.  This wonderful report is all her own words and I can only add a massive congratulations and this is another example of how archers can succeed under difficult conditions with a little coaching and a large dose of personal application, dedication and practice.

I was invited in March to one day go along and compete in the British Blind Sports National Championships, didn’t think I would make it this year but was determined I would be there next year for the Indoors.

My shooting has progressed so well that by June I decided i would enter the Outdoor Championships this year, booked the event via BBS, Got train tickets sorted and started practising 30m with different target faces to reflect the visually impaired rounds to be shot.

Arrived at Lilleshall after 3 train journeys on Friday and checked in, in time to have an evening meal, bath and an early night.

Awoke at 345am got up to watch the day break, it had been raining since 8pm the night before and was still. Registration at the shooting field 830am followed breakfast and a lengthy walk. Put the tent up in the rain and got soaked, assembled my bow and had Sighters by 915 and scoring started 930am.

The round being shot was  a WA VI1440 36 arrows in sets of 6 shooting at 30m at a 60cms target face, 36 arrows in sets of 6 shooting at 30m at an 80cms face, 36 arrows in sets of 3 shooting at an 80cms face & 36 arrows in sets of 3 shooting at 30m at a 122cms face, all 10 zone scoring.

Judge explained whistles, 3 to assemble on the line, 1 to shoot and 2 to collect. Usual continual whistle or FAST call.

During the whole morning shooting i couldn’t hear my clicker because of the rain, so could not rely on that to help me release my arrows, got a few good scores for the first target face, shooting 6 arrows at a time at a 60cm face for 6 ends then a 15 minute tea break for faces to be changed to 80cms for the next 6 ends of 6 arrows.

The rain was still coming down hard after tea break, had a problem with my magnetic arrow rest not returning, which was adjusted and sorted my Malcolm to enable me to carry on shooting.

Next 6 ends were higher scorers than previous 6 ends then break for lunch, by which time the rain was lighter.

After lunch the sun came out and we all started to dry out from the morning, half time results were handed out to all the non shooting people present and I was told I was leading, what a lift.

The afternoons arrows were more consistent and was told that a female county coach had commented on how good my shooting style was, I knew there was the potential of being spotted but was to busy concentrating on every arrow being my best.

We had tea break before the last target face was put up, allowing me to sit down for 5 minutes, those next lot of arrows were all good scorers, knew i was in with a chance but unsure as i didn’t keep count. My scorer Bob passed my score sheet to me and i saw a total of 937 for the day, checked the scores, signed my sheet and knew then that i’d hopefully got into the top 3.

Packed my bow away and assembled with the others for the results to be announced, B1 class awards were awarded first, my category in VI Open recurve and my name got called for first place and told i’d set a new BBS record too. What an amazing day. The trophy was presented to me by John Hayton from the worshipful company of Bowyers, photo’s on the British Blind Sport facebook page.

Photo’s taken and final adjustments made to tent, we headed off back to the Queens hall where we were all staying and got ready for the evening meal, followed by a quiz evening, which my team came 3rd out of 3 teams.

Retired to bed by 11pm after a soak a few bottle of London Pride during the quiz as my celebration.

Sundays round was a Long Metric IV with “Team Blinky” consisting of blind and partially sighted archers shooting against “Team Sighted” who were spotters and coaches for the VI Archers, shooting 40m first with a target face of 122 cms for 36 arrows, 6 arrows each end, then tea break for targets to be moved to 30m with same faces for another 36 arrows to be shot in sets of 6.

Lovely relaxed atmosphere compared to the day before, not that it was a tense atmosphere but the level of enjoyment seemed more, i shot for team blinky and was hoping we would win, didn’t think at all about getting a medal status for the shoot.

Results were in just before lunch and once we had assembled it was announced that I had got the silver medal for the 2nd highest score. Photo’s were taken when the silver medal was handed to me by David, the BBS Archery Chairman and have also been posted on the British Blind Sports Facebook page.

Team Sighted beat team Blinky this year, but i’m going to help Team Blinky get it back next year.

Had a thoroughly great time, made some great new friends, put faces to names, loved the food, company, accommodation and what i saw of the grounds. Next time i go i’m going to make sure i get to have a good walk around the grounds and take in some of the great atmosphere and sights.

I’m glad to have brought home a First Place trophy for the WA1440, set a BBS Record and a Silver medal for the Long Metric IV, knew i could be in with a chance, exceeded any expectations i may have had and loved every part of it.

To summarise Debs report :-

  • Saturday 12th September at Lilleshall BBS VI 2015 National Championships
  • Debs set BBS Record for VI WA1440 of 937
  • Deb for 1st Place for Open Recurve category received trophy
  • Sunday 13th September at Lilleshall BBS VI 2015 National Championships
  • Debs 2nd Place for Handicap Adjusted Long Metric IV received Silver Medal

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