midweek – readjustment of priorities, hours reduced but aims the same

Over the coming weeks and months the three of us are going to be attending a whole bunch of medical appointments. 

Happy to share my issues, as I already have been, particularly as it impacts my ability to shoot and the necessity for changes to allow me to continue and I know there are those who like to see what is happening. 

The issues of my children are not up for public discussion. 

They get involved with Integr8Archery CIC often and help in delivery of a variety of things.

With this in mind, the amount that we will be doing this year will reduce to allow time to concentrate on the many health related things going on. 

Existing projects and new projects and lots of exciting things will be happening but there will be some careful selection processes as we utilise our energy on less hours. 

You will see us on ranges shooting, competing, delivering and supporting but be prepared that you may some times hear a polite but firm refusal to be involved in something. 

There are also some things that are important to us as topics such as anti violence and providing alternative options, these will continue to be important to us and you will see us continue to work in these areas.

I make no apology for putting us first. 

See you all soon and I will continue to let you know what is happening with projects 🥰🏹

An old photo but one of my favourites 🥰

Week 77 – plans and new challenges

Busy week for planning and meetings but the only arrows shot this week were the school groups. Lots of reasonings, some groups have stopped for the holiday break, some have kit issues and some were cancelled due to sickness.

It did give me time to sit and draw together everything for the coming year. It’s going to be busy but fun I think looking at the calendar already.

I have been helping a couple of new safeguarding officers find their feet, it’s great to chat with people who understand the role and its possibilities, not just reactive but proactive.

As you will have seen from my post in the week I have been elected as Vice Chair for Northamptonshire Federation of Disability Sports. This is an exciting time as we are going to revamp the way that things are done to improve how we support and create opportunities in the county for increasing access to activities in the county. It’s also going to be hard work in the short term as we look at rewriting the constitution as a beginning step. It is no secret that I love my sport but I am incredibly passionate about access for all and I see multi sport and collaboration as a means to achieve so much more.

That doesn’t mean Integr8archery CIC will get less of me, I give around 30 hours a week to my amazing little company. Dropping that to 25 hours and giving those somewhere else isn’t going to even be noticed, next week sees me hit 18 months and I am excited to share the stats, but I have definitely settled into a rhythm and finding a pattern with family, work, Integr8archery, and even some time for me to shoot! Whilst I believe that my sport is truly one of the most adaptable and accessible sports I also understand that archery isn’t what everyone wants and that was the biggest reason for me training in multisports coaching rather than sport specific.

In other news, it’s my birthday at the weekend and those who know me well know I hate it, historically it’s an awful day and I try to avoid it. I have plans and I appreciate the efforts made by those who are trying to support me through the day. The next couple of weeks is going to be rough so be gentle with me please. I spend my time looking after everyone, if you could be mindful for me that’s all I ask.

If I don’t see you before the break have a great Christmas or whatever alternative way you spend the time and stay safe.

Week 50 – Disability, inclusion, mental health, support – bringing all the work together ❤️🏹

So, I am excited and have news to share, some explaining too! It’s long but you have had some short blogs the last few weeks 😉😂

As you will know I am a huge advocate of disability, mental health and inclusion. I passionately believe that sport can help change lives, I have seen it and I have been a part of it. It takes commitment not just from the individual but those working and supporting to make it happen! Now I am in a place to pull several things together so grab a cuppa and let me tell you 🤗

You will be aware that both myself and my son have disability – his epilepsy, mine doesn’t have a one word label!
I’ll explain me a little –

My bones are twisted, puts a lot of strain on my joints which don’t all work or sit quite how they should, at 20 I was offered the choice of two surgeries to try and help my left knee – one was on the knee itself and especially the ligaments around it to try and make it easier, or more radically they could plate and screw some bones in my legs to set about straightening them and see if that improved things! They were not entirely convincing about what would come of the more major surgery and if there would be any improvement at all so I went for the knee option, and following that initial surgery have had a further three surgeries on that knee.

I am clumsy, my balance and co-ordination vary but I can fall over fresh air and have literally been stood talking and just fallen as my balance goes! Remember – I meet life with humour so sure make sure I am ok but we are going to laugh at these things!

Broken bones – feet, hands, fingers and my left shoulder blade!

Nerve damage from various things lower back, thoracic spine, feet, left lower leg and for added “fun” some sciatica!

I often say everything is fine, my left elbow and my eyelashes don’t hurt! Remember – humour! But pain is definitely one of the biggest barriers I face and I am incredibly grateful to have a superb physio in Ben 😊

I have a hearing impairment in my right ear as a result of damage, for a while there was talk of metal plates in my skull but I managed to avoid that. It is one of the reasons you might see me in my bobble hat even in summer, drafts hurt it and impact the ability to hear, hats stop drafts.

Several health issues, the two that impact my shooting – asthma which can be triggered by a number of things but especially heat, cold and hay fever – did I mention I am allergic to straw bosses 😂😂😂😂🫣🫣😱 I have a blood disorder, we ruled out the serious stuff that kills you but I am left with a reduced ability to store folate and iron, so I eat a lot of food that helps this and take some industrial grade, prescription top ups, but this can create huge fatigue and on bad days being awake is an incredible challenge – let alone moving!

Mental health? Anxiety and PTSD pretty much see that as a daily thing, some days I can plan for months, some days let’s see if I can breathe for 10 minutes. I have been to the very darkest places in my mind, in fact, they literally sit there daily, but when things are going well, I’m just carrying it with me, as I brave the world and smile. I am blessed that my counsellor is awesome and a tight circle of friends are there constantly 🤗🥰

Why do I tell you all of this, it’s so that you can gain a little understanding for why disability, inclusion and mental health are such an important focus for me.

Archery has given me ways to help my mind, if I don’t clear the messy head space those arrows are going nowhere useful. The process and routine are soothing, calming. Ranges are my safe space.

That’s not to say it’s easy, I have been challenged by people who have questioned my right to be there, on a range, on a shooting line – apparently I look ok – so why do I need to sit to shoot, have an agent? On a good day I might explain a little and try and educate, on a hard day I may tell you it’s none of your business, on a rough day, I might step away, think you are right, I have no place, I am an inconvenience and spiral, if we go back to my longest spell in the house, I literally didn’t leave for many months, long before you could get everything delivered to the house. Every day I have a process to step out of the door, might your unthinking words shut me inside?

However there are also many, many amazing people to be found on ranges who welcome, and support and help, these people question but because they want to understand so they can help, so very different.

Over the last several years I have done a lot of work around health and inclusion and supporting people to step on to a range, but also in other sports too. It’s amazing to watch people try something that they thought would reject them and find they are welcome, archery is one of the most adaptable sports there is and I am lucky to have friends who have worked in many areas, I find it unlikely that if you can tell me what you need that I can’t find it for you in that pool of amazing people.

I am told that I think outside the box, I just see me as me, but it’s definitely helped when thinking of ways to help people come to the range, our own voice in our mind can be the biggest battle we face and it takes different things for different people to push their own boundaries.

I have supported existing archers who have found themselves in a place where maybe they might have to consider their ability to stay on the range, some it’s been adaptions, some changing bow styles and some moving to seated. It’s always a privilege when someone reaches out and says can we talk, you might be able to help me, I know that reaching out for help isn’t easy. Some take the information and go off and do their thing, some keep in touch and some remain as part of our growing support network to give and receive support on our tough days.

With all of this and more in mind, I can now announce a plan we have.

Who are we? Let me explain.

I work with lots of coaches to deliver my projects and support groups who want sustainable archery, getting it set up and then mentoring in the long term. It works, our reviews show this. Northamptonshire carers contacted me to help put archery back into their disability inclusive sports sessions that they run for children with disabilities and their families.
The coaches who help me with this are Nick and Jackie from Towcester Archery Club and a great job they do too.

Early in 2023 I had some conversations (thankful as ever for the technology that allows us to be in different spaces and hold meetings and conversations) around a number of different ideas we have and things we can do together with Nick Wilson, who many know as the Disabled Adventurer. We made arrangements for him to come to Towcester Archery Club who kindly offered to host me, Nick and other exiting archers who wanted to come and shoot and talk about the impact of our sport on their disability and mental health.

Nick had a great time as did coach Nick, this was also a great example of how sometimes we fear what we don’t know, I have seen people turned away from clubs because of their disability and speaking with coaches, clubs and archers I am firmly of the belief that whilst a minority is about exclusion for many it’s the worry that a lack of knowledge might mean they can’t help or what if they injure a person? However we’re as many don’t say that and don’t ask for help with improving their own knowledge they just say no. I have managed to get the odd coach to discuss this and been able to link them with coaches who have the knowledge to mentor them.

This very idea now sees Integr8Archery and Towcester Archery Club come together to offer Nick Wilson a bespoke beginners course and coach Nick who was worried about his own knowledge is taking the opportunity to learn alongside him. The 2 Nicks will learn from each other and I have some coaches experienced with a huge variety of disabilities waiting to help amend support and coach Nick is attending the disability inclusion training being hosted in the midlands. I am excited to see what comes of this for both of them.

When I posted that I was holding the session and invited people along, I was blown away by the messages that I received from archers who would like the opportunity to have a safe space, where occasionally they can come together in an inclusive setting regardless of their physical, learning disabilities or mental health, where they don’t have to explain why they do x,y,z. But to be in an environment with others who love this sport, who enjoy shooting and the things it gives us, but who occasionally feel isolated or uncomfortable and we accept that the person who creates that doesn’t always know and we aren’t always strong enough to speak out.

So after some conversations around what we can do, Towcester Archery Club and Integr8Archery will be hosting sessions inviting those who consider they have a disability and or want a space where they can feel their mental health is safe, to come together and shoot every 2 months. We are just pulling together the first list of dates and will announce these in the next few days along with some information around what we have planned for some of those dates along with the ones that we can just chat and shoot and share a cuppa. There will also be instructions on how to join us.

I am excited as I am not aware of anything else offered that is similar to this so I think Towcester Archery Club and Integr8Archery are hopefully going to show what we can achieve and others may set up similar sessions.

So watch this space over the next few days and follow the instructions if you would like to join us, let’s grow this community I have started, for archers who want support and also for coaches who want to learn how to help. Thank you so very much to Dean and Nick for your help and support so far, let’s create change together 🥰🏹❤️

Well if the week was a weather forecast I’d go with severe thunderstorms and a dash of sunshine!

I started volunteering in archery in 2015, little things which grew and grew into huge things, committee roles at club, county and region levels. The work I was doing included many things but as anyone who knows me would expect, these definitely centred around safeguarding, equality, diversity and inclusion. 2018 saw me apply to become an Archery GB ambassador primarily around disability but with all of these principles at the core of whatever I was to do in that blue shirt if I was given one.

Over time my projects grew and grew, I collaborated with others and worked on their projects and looked at joining things together where our aims and objectives met. This led to 2022 when things were coming together and my calendar from June 2022 to October 2023 was full of launch dates and amazing things – huge, huge plans. The person I was collaborating with was out there talking and sharing and inviting people to join us in some of those plans, so as spring 22 hit I started to drop bits of information as a taste of what was to come.

However that person walked away, no warning, no explanation. This is something many of those people do not understand – you stopped getting information? No details? You came to me for answers, I understand why, but I also had no communication- no information to share. I helped those I could, with their plans which had grown from the conversations that they had with that person, pleased to say several are doing well and a couple have stayed in touch to let me know how they are getting on, it’s always nice to hear their news.

Some needed someone to blame, they weren’t getting answers from the person they were contacting so it fell on me, I took the brunt and despite my replies that I could not help with their queries they didn’t stop. On more than 1 occasion I have posted here to say enough is enough and I gave notice that I would no longer reply to those individuals or to anything abusive. For 2 people this didn’t stop them – continue they have! This week it reached a new level from one, a suggestion that my walking away and destroying work and plans last summer (none of which I did) means, in this person’s opinion, I should kill myself – their words! Who even thinks it’s ok to write such messages to another person I do not know!

I was advised to raise a safeguarding and a bullying complaint to the NGB, however this is far beyond that and so I handed it to the police. They have picked it up and I have an investigating officer who has has taken my statement and lots and lots of communication from the last 5 years from a number of people, it just the one who sent the message. This is one individual but there are little pieces of information contained that they had to get from somewhere, so whatever happens next will happen, but going forward I will not be dealing with unpleasant communications. Any from anyone will be passed on to whoever is the most appropriate person to handle it, safeguarding, bullying, criminal – each will find its level.

Me? I shall continue forward, I am proud of what I can accomplish in my limited capacity. Of how I do my bit. Integr8Archery will continue to do what I want, safely set up to allow me to do just that. As I approach the 1st birthday of Integr8Archery I am busy making plans on how to celebrate this year’s achievements, to thank those who have been involved and continue to move on with plans and events for 2023 and beyond.

Thank you to those who have supported me in anyway, but for those who have been there this week, I am grateful that I am stronger now than I was a year ago because otherwise the week may have had a very different outcome.

For Integr8Archery I am only half way through my week, my weeks as you know finish on a Tuesday 😜 so here’s hoping that the end of week blog will be so much brighter than this mid-week one! It will because there’s already things to go in it! 😎

Week 47 – Children’s Coaching Collaborative, Play Their Way

As you will be aware from the information that I published I signed up to the Children’s Coaching Collaborative last autumn. This year the Child-First Coaching Coffee Catch Ups began. These sessions are for anyone who’s signed up to join together at the sessions as and when they can, to discuss important topics but over a virtual coffee session, the sessions are kept to an hour per session to allow people to fit them into busy schedules.

I find these particularly interesting as it is one of the initiatives that I am involved in that sees people from many sports come together and discuss common issues and share ideas.

The has been a very strong theme throughout – voice, choice and journey. Very much linked with the theme behind any good coach around listening to and coaching the individual.

As a coach this is of huge importance but also in my safeguarding role this is a massive issue. A large amount of my time is taken when voice and choice are removed. Surely something that we should all have taken from the publication of the Whyte report and the subsequent reform 25. Do not sit complacently believing that issues are only in other sports, there are examples of issues across all sports. It is with these in mind that I was interested in the Children’s Coaching Collaborative.

Today the next step is launched – Play Their Way. Please see above my statement that Integr8Archery CIC has signed up to the movement and I would ask you to take the time to consider signing up yourself as a coach but also your organisation and lead those you work with to look at joining too.

This week’s meetings and reviews, which I frequently complete on my projects and with the coaches and groups we deliver to, are about safeguarding and delivering the right service, in the right way to help achieve the goals. This is what the Children’s Coaching Collaborative and other groups that I am part of are aiming to achieve across all levels of all sports.

Week 45 – start archery a great example of pulling things together ❤️🏹

This week saw Integr8Archery host its first community event. It was a pleasure to welcome Wellingborough Muslim Community to our range where we reside at the invitation of Weavers Academy. The club – school arrangement is, I believe a new kind of way for a club and school to work together.

I have worked with Northamptonshire Sports looking at how we can include archery and share knowledge across multiple sports in the county to the benefit of clubs and community for several years.

They have sponsored a series of 4 sessions for the group and the 8th May saw the first of these, timed to be part of the Archery GB start archery week and to allow the first session to include the Eid celebrations.

The coaches who have come together for these dates also include one sponsored by the Northamptonshire Sports Couch to Coach funding, Chris is using the funding to increase her skill level from instructor which she has done for a number of years for guides, to become a sessions coach, something that she has been inspired to do after joining the coaching team for the Archery In Education project from 2021. She is part of the delivery team for Weavers Academy after delivering at a number of schools for me.

I would like to thank Suzanne Fossey of Archery GB for joining us on the day and taking a lot of the photos that we now have from the event. As always it’s a pleasure to see you Suzanne 🙂

The day saw 73 people pick up a bow to try the sport and this was despite the weather forecast. The decision was made to delay the Eid celebration until a later session due to the rain but that did not stop the feeling of community, sharing each others company and chatting over food. I think the best way to describe the day was a sense of family, people coming together and sharing the day and when they weren’t shooting there were games of cricket and football to entertain as they took turns to shoot in groups.

Many things were discussed including future events and ideas for different groups and sessions with different purposes, but also conversations were opened around ideas such as self defence but also mental health and bereavement.

I had anticipated a great day but what we got was so very much more. I look forward with the coming 3 sessions but also moving forward with the other things discussed on the day.

Many thanks to Wellingborough Muslim Community for trusting us to introducing them to our sport and to Matthew and Ben from Northamptonshire Sports. Integr8Archery look forward to seeing what comes from our joint relationship.

Week 44 – what do you know about VI sports?

What do you know about sport for the visually impaired? This is something that annoys me and those who know me well have listening to me complain and make a fuss for years! There is simply not enough information or signposting for somethings, for those who might use them, who might consider trying them or for those who might choose to give their time as a volunteer. Two such things that I have enjoyed giving hours to are the transplant games and visually impaired sport. Today I am going to give some information about British Blind Sport as it’s a subject that has come up half a dozen times in the last month or so.

One of the things that I do as a volunteer is spotting for visually impaired archers. I have worked on a semi regular basis with two. It came about as a result of covid, then lockdown rules allowed disabled athletes to practise and someone I knew needed help to find a range that would allow her to shoot (many refused to allow their disability members to access their ranges, a conversation for another day) and also a means of getting there and that role of spotter. Having agented numerous times for disability athletes I said I would give it a go, however I was more than a little anxious as this is more than just collecting arrows for someone and my ability to describe what was happening was going to be key to how useful I was! Turns out all those years doing surveillance in the day job gave me a useful skill on the archery range! 

https://www.aim4sport.com/2021/03/26/why-support-matters-the-thoughts-of-a-visually-impaired-archer-by-deb-wright/

I gained a friend too and have been able to proudly watch Deb maintain her success on the archery field in the time since.

http://www.ncasarchery.org.uk/http:/www.ncasarchery.org.uk/achievements-deb-wright/

In recent months I have put a couple of coaches in touch with British Blind Sports in regards to archers who needed support. Whilst physical disabilities and adaptations around these are focused on and access is improving significantly, help for visually impaired is still not obvious. 

British Blind Sport offer amazing support to people to access a multitude of sports

and they have an activity finder to help you locate something to go along to. 

My friend Clive has used their services and now shoots for GB in a sport that he loves as much as I do

The sport that I love, where I found my people, that allows me to be me, is the most adaptive sport that I know. I have yet to come across anyone who cannot shoot, it’s one of the very reasons that I love it so very much and why I am so very passionate about it and what it has to offer. 

There are a couple of significant events this year that need volunteers and you may be looking for somewhere to give your time so I would urge you to consider looking here:

What have I been doing this week? Mostly lots of planning and attending a couple of multi sports meetings. Lots happening over the coming weeks as the summer moves towards us! 

Not so many arrows shot myself, as I would like still but getting there and this coming weekend will see me shoot my first outdoors competition of the season at one of my favourite places and will have the chance to see lots of friends. My only aim, considering the lack of shooting that I have had, is to enjoy the day, see how it all goes and enjoy the company – and not to cry for dozens of arrows like I did last year! 

Catch you all soon, have a great week and enjoy this run of bank holiday weekends ❤️🏹

Week 42 – mental health, safe headspace and arrow counting

It is incredibly rare that I ask for anything for myself, particularly in regards to my health – this, above, I tried to do at the weekend!

It’s something that my counsellor and my friends have been trying to get me to work on for a long time. The last few months I have been trying, it’s new to me and a work in progress. Whilst volunteering at the Grand Prix it was something that was discussed with me at length and I worked hard on it, the Wednesday and Thursday actually making decisions to put me first, guess what? The world continued to turn and my family of blue and green shirts not only accepted and welcomed my decisions but encouraged them! I may have taken all of us by surprise! 😱😂

Fast forward to 15th April, I posted my blog, and I asked for 36ish hours for me, I needed to deal with lots of things and they were affecting my mental health, I wanted to get everything in order. Projects, communications, lots of things. Despite my request still people contacted me with questions, queries, none of these could wait that 36 hours, I pointed out to each of those people that I wanted to be left until Sunday evening. Did it stop them! No! So I made some decisions and now people are disappointed 🤷‍♀️ you pushed me, you didn’t let me have that short time I was brave enough to ask for. Apparently for some I didn’t answer questions they didn’t ask 🤷‍♀️ why in this sport is it so often expected that we can mind read?

What I am especially curious of is, if I asked for the weekend because I had a migraine, a stomach bug, an injury, would I have been granted that 36 hours? Is it just mental health that doesn’t get respected? Have a think, you don’t have to answer me, but please do be honest with yourself!

What it did do was confirm work that I have been doing and several events and projects I am working on are most definitely needed as I had already believed.

So now we have people disappointed because I cancelled things, and angry people who have now had things cancelled who were not actually the people pushing me and being disrespectful of my request! So the people who pushed are ok, and I will deal with yet more annoyed folks 🤔

Integr8Archery CIC is mine, a one man band, no one else makes the decisions and no one else chooses what I do, and no one else steps in when I am overwhelmed. I am working on my projects, work that was always mine, my goals, my aims and new ideas. Not for anyone else, for me. There are also a number of other things I have that I may restart, they are mine too. Don’t make the mistake that because people have collaborated in the past dictates what I am doing now, because that would also be disrespectful.

However, what did go well, that I knew would give me the boost when I was thinking of quitting, was my visit to DISC to deliver soft archery, they are such a welcoming and enthusiastic group and a pleasure to spend time with.

Followed by my trip just over the road to shoot with Towcester Archers, some projects discussed and ideas bounced and arrows flung. Last year it was incredibly important to me to create safe spaces for my mind, where, when I am overwhelmed, anxious and scared, I can go to with my bow.

So thank you and much love to Archers of Raunds, Long Buckby archery club, Towcester Archers, Banbury Cross, Kestrels and Bowmen of Glen. By far the most important thing is the gift they give me of space where I am mentally safe to pick up my bow. 

When I started shooting in 2018 I spent hours on the range, practise and competing. From 2018 to 2021 I shot between 800 – 1000 arrows a week. Last year this dropped dramatically – we know why. So I started planning my 2023 outdoor season and how to get that motivation back, perfectly timed as Archery GB advertised for the #greatarrowcount project. I received notification of my involvement in the project which was to start on 1st April. Those first 10 days were impacted by my being at the European Grand Prix but my first week total sees me having shot 570 arrows, not where I want to be but getting back on track for sure.

A bit of a moan, and a request to remember to say thank you!

I believe that sport can change lives. I believe in my sport especially so, archery is so very inclusive. 6 years ago I decided I could make a difference and I strive for that, putting bows into the hands of people who don’t think they can access archery, for a variety of reasons.

I work hard to meet this goal, to bring archery to those who want it, for an hour, a year, a life time.

I am also very clear that everything I do is voluntary. I don’t get paid for any of what I do, never have, and Integr8Archery CIC is set up to prevent this, non profit – remember?

So I have a day job, to pay the bills, it’s a demanding one at that.

I give between 18-30 hours a week to Integr8Archery and I do this by giving up my own time.

I have worked with the public since I was old enough to work weekends as a teenager. I know that some say thank you, some complain, some are reasonable and some less so. I have volunteered since I was 16 and I know what giving my time can help others achieve – thank goodness or maybe I would have walked away!

This week I have come incredibly close to cancelling something for the first time due to the attitude of the person who I am helping host an event. Still might really.

It doesn’t matter if you are paying or not, if you set out the terms of what you want, you can of course make changes, this involves communicating. Just constantly demanding and changing and putting more and more on me! Nope not ok! In this case the event has costs, costs that a third party are picking up, don’t think that means I won’t pull out. I have no problem with telling the third party that I will not be billing them because I am cancelling the event!

So ask yourself this? When you ask someone for a service, do you flit around in your head! Do you change your mind? Maybe you didn’t set out what you wanted clearly and are now trying to get what you want without admitting that you missed something. Or are you becoming aware that maybe you could have asked for more but didn’t and now want more because you realise it can be achieved!

Whatever it is, ask! Speak kindly and remember I am giving you my time, freely, and I am not just sat waiting for your email or call, I have other responsibilities and they don’t allow me to drop everything. Be kind, say thank you, it’s not a lot to ask really is it?

So whilst I am complaining – a message to those of you who are still contacting me about things you were interested in being a part of, remember who discussed them with you? Was it me? Did I convince you that you can change your path? Were you told I was part of those plans as they were my projects? That’s very likely, I agree. Some have spoken with me and I have worked with them to do the things they wanted after having those conversations. However, if you have sent me emails, messages, voicemails accusing me of letting you down because the person who told you those projects were being planned isn’t replying or hasn’t delivered? I can’t help you because I will not be made to feel guilty or terrible because someone else let you down.

This is not the first time I have made this point publicly and it would seem it’s a point I am repeating publicly for the third time! I do not believe that you were let down by Integr8Archery so my advice would be to go to the person or business who did let you down.

ON A HAPPIER NOTE, THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO SUPPORTS ME ❤️🏹 I NEVER TAKE YOU FOR GRANTED 😎


Week 39! 9 months – wow and thank you 😍


39 weeks! 9 months! Wow!!

Yesterday was a perfect example of why I love doing what I do. A meeting with Northamptonshire Sport and Wellingborough Muslim Community to finalise the plans for our start archery event on the 8th May and the 3 planned sessions afterwards for those who want to participate after the event.

The next cuppa and catch up with the Children’s Coaching Collaborative and it was another great conversation around the voice, choice, journey. Sharing thoughts and ideas with like minded individuals is always motivating and multi sport environments is a great reminder that we are all trying to reach the same goals.

If you recall the blog I did at 26 weeks as my first 6 months round up you will remember I provided a bunch of stats and figures. If you didn’t see it if you type 26 weeks in the search box it’ll bring it up for you.

So what has the last 13 weeks held?
Obviously on a personal scale the loss of my dad overshadows absolutely everything else and I miss our weekly chats about what I am doing with Integr8Archery.

On a personal archery note I had cancelled my indoor season to allow family to be priority but I have managed to pick up my bow and shoot and with some practise and scored rounds I have managed to achieve a C classification. My 5th indoor season and something that I have never before managed!! I am really happy with that – let’s be honest if we round up the 5 years I have been shooting – struggling with pain, having to become a seated archer, covid and whatever we describe the last 17 months as, the battle to shoot has been tough but at the moment my shooting seems to be settled, consistent and at the moment, the strongest it’s ever been.

What about Integr8Archery?

Well the club has its school partnership to allow shooting on weekends and planning is happening for the competitions we will host and a number of community activities.

It was fantastic to see the DISC group have their first archery session several years since the bows were last picked up, this was also the first session delivered by 2 coaches coming on board to help Integr8Archery achieve it’s goals.

Lots of meetings, several new groups looking to see what we might be able to accomplish together.

The education project has seen an additional 63 children pick up a bow and try our sport and today the children who are part of the archery club at Wrenn school will be receiving the first certificates awarded from the Integr8Archery progression scheme that we have created. Incredibly proud of what they have achieved.

Thank you for all of your support so far, see you on a range soon.