I have thought long and hard about today’s blog, the questions that I tried to politely answer 4 weeks ago are still being asked. However they will be dealt with at a different time, today is about what have I done in my first 3 months as Integr8archery. Having taken control of some of my work, work I have been doing for years, what have I managed to do with those projects in this 13 week period?
Well my Northamptonshire schools are still shooting, some existing and new schools have had some day sessions for different groups, resulting in me now discussing with a number of primary, secondary and a higher education facility how to get their sites up and running. 3 groups looking to have a number of children join my club whilst shooting on their site.
Hopefully continued involvement with the school games, working on a possibly huge Project Rimaya group and new multi sports collaboration in Northamptonshire with the activity partnership.
Some pilots being ironed out to get my out of school setting children back shooting, focusing on their return for autumn/winter and new children come spring.
Leicestershire is fast turning into a rival in size, likely may even be bigger than Northamptonshire – currently 2 waves of schools planned – the first a possible 17 primary schools going live, the second 12 schools from a combination of primary and secondary schools.
Plus the new development of low active groups within the county and how we can get those moving by working together across the county.
The exciting news that after successfully applying for various grants in the last 2 years, last week I received the wonderful news that the first grant I have applied for under integr8archery will see The Worshipful Company of Fletchers help Northamptonshire Carers.
I have joined forces with Well-being through Sport, the Sport Development Coalition, the Belong Network, and my amazing friend who is evolving her own work and has allowed me the privilege of the two of us sharing the space to safely find our way forward together whilst separately, for strength comes from supporting each other and working together rather than against each other.
I have almost completed the two level 2 courses that I have started in this time and I have, this week, submitted my application to learn something that will totally push my comfort zones but will add so much value to what I am doing, both with multi sports and disability sports.
So, here I am, after a very rough 12 months, finding myself that Monday evening standing crying yet again in the middle of the range, being given a very specific yet amazing brand of pep talk as I did and with the very generous support of people who believe in me, I now find myself with a community interest company and an archery club! It’s been a whirlwind and I cannot see sign of it calming anytime soon, but whilst amazed, I am also proud of these 3 months. Sure I get sad when I think of my work that I have had to leave behind, but my passionate belief in my sport and how I can use it to help change lives is stronger than ever, the work I have done for 6 years, alone or with others gave me many examples of how my quirky self can help me think outside the box to help achieve things. I haven’t lost that and now I have so many more examples to add to my list. I am grateful to everyone who has encouraged me, spoken with me, hugged me whilst I have cried, and who stand beside me in any way, special thanks to the coaches, paid or volunteer, who work with me to help provide what my groups need and for sharing my excitement when they become self sustaining.
As I sit here I know there are things that I haven’t included – my first flight workshop presentation, helping put on 4 Archery GB competitions, 2 were internationals, but my family of blue shirted volunteers are unbeatable! So many hours I have given to grassroots via my projects but also managed to volunteer at some running events too.
So, here’s to the future and whatever it brings us all and thank you to everyone who has read anything that I have written because I lost my person who I share it all with and you have all stepped into the space left behind. Thank you for believing in me when I wobble.