On Saturday 4th November six members of the archery club, making up 2 teams, travelled down to Liverpool to represent Newcastle University at the Northern Universities Team Championships (NUTC).
Very early (5:30 AM) on Saturday morning, our two teams made their way down to Liverpool University for the first indoor competition of the season. Team A was made up of Heather Flint (Team Captain), Riki Kusuyama and Luke Dyer, all recurve. While Team B included; Won Ji Lee, Jowan Barnes and Stylianos Hadjiforados, with Lee and Hadjiforados shooting recurve and Barnes, barebow. Recurve bows are the most common bow at competitions, they are named because of the limbs which curve back on themselves, they also have stabilisers and a sight to allow the archer to have precision aim. Barebows are the same as a recurve, however they do not have to the stabilisers and sight and requires the archer to develop their own techniques to find the aiming point.
Archery is often viewed as a serious sport, however there is always plenty of opportunity for fun as Kusuyama discovered when the organisers started to sing popular song by Toni Basil “Hey Mickey”, but replacing Mickey with Riki. As well as being a lot of fun, archery is a great place to make new friends. We also regularly compete against other Northern Universities and because of this it is a very social sport.
The competition has two rounds, a ranking round and then a head to head. In the ranking round archers must shoot 30 arrows each at 40cm targets from 18m. Each individual is then scored, and all the team’s scores are added together at the end.
Both teams performed brilliantly in the ranking rounds with Newcastle A being ranked 4th and B team ranking 8th. This was the first time all members of the B team had competed in a team championship and they did not let it phase them. Both of our teams ranked in the top half of the draw. At this point a special mention must go to club captain, Heather Flint, who took first place in the ladies ranking.
“Both teams performed brillaintly in the ranking rounds with Newcastle A being ranked 4th and B team ranking 8th”
After lunch the teams had the head to heads to look forward to. In these rounds the 40cm targets are removed and replaced with 6cm gold targets which is scored by whether you hit or miss it. Newcastle B did fantastically, beating Liverpool A in the first round, however in the quarter-final they were up against top seed Bradford A and although they held their own, sadly they were knocked out. Lee said, “I felt really proud to be in a team with Stylianos and Jowan, and although we were knocked out, we weren’t deterred by being against top seed Bradford and managed to get a few hits in”.
Newcastle A gave an excellent performance, winning both their first round and quarter final round. In the semi-final, unfortunately Newcastle A were beaten by Bradford, however they were still able to fight for the bronze medal position, in a third place playoff against York A. After weeks of training and a very long day, it all paid off, Newcastle A did it, they had won the bronze medal. This is the best ever result for Newcastle University Archery Club.
Speaking to Flint, she said, “I am so proud of how our teams performed in this match. Archery is such a mental game and I was seriously impressed by the way the teams handled the situation”. As well as those who competed a special thank you must be made to club secretary, Kate Stanton, who gave up her Saturday to drive the team down to Liverpool and support them whilst they were there.
Overall both teams performed outstandingly and have made the club very proud. We look forward to future competitions with the next one being a home match on 18th November.