I have said for many many years that success is so much more than medals, celebratory moments in sport are about so many things. I can list many examples that I have been privileged to be a part of in the last 7 years.
Today was no different, I love my hour every month with DISC, helping deliver multiple sports and activities to amazing children and their families.
Today there was a boy who I have seen often for over a year, close to 18 months, he struggles to retain the information, communication isn’t always simple and he looses concentration, he is anxious about his mum leaving and looks for reassurance that she’s stayed. He walked in and I always allow him to show me what he can remember, today he picked up his bow and an arrow and completed the shot routine and hit a blue immediately, his mum was stunned and as I handed him a second arrow, he turned to tell her she didn’t need to watch she could chat outside the door with other adults if she wished and just got on with it. Proud? Oh yes, and in these moments, the very hardest thing is not to react, just carry on, when in fact I want to dance and hug and celebrate.
There were lots of other amazing moments, as always, children who still come to see me despite me progressing them to local clubs, for example a young man I met almost a year ago, introduced him to a club, yesterday he was at county coaching, this morning he was competing and this evening he went to his club session, but he still makes time to come and say hello, shoot a few soft arrows and some days helps me to deliver. Or the young girl who having watched her sister shooting, sat on the floor with Rose so that she could leave her walking frame to shoot.
I am proud of these children, but it makes me proud of my children and anyone who helps me deliver any kind of sessions, every person is treated as an individual and my priority, always is enjoyment and smiles. Success is different for different people.
Today I also met a young man who has long been an Archery GB member but isn’t currently shooting, despite an incredibly strong family link with our sport, because his club no longer fits his needs. After a chat, I was able to make the introductions to a club that I believe will welcome him and meet his needs and early indications are correct.
I finished the day nipping in to see some who always has hugs for me, just a quick catch up as I knew they had competed today but when I met them at the end of 2022 they were crying as they believed that their only option was to leave our sport as the disability had progressed and they had been made to believe there was no place for them here. Time, patience, laughter and tears have proven that is not the case, adaption and work and here they are, today bringing home a shiny bronze medal 🥳❤️🏹
I know what it is to be told there is no place for you, I know the damage that can do. I will fight for anyone’s right to be active and take part, always.
It has been one of the days that motivates me, shows me I can play a part. Motivation in the bank for the days when I am told to walk away and leave 🤗