June 8, 2023

Pain and Joy of my first archery competition

By Chris Elliott….

On Sunday 26th March, I went to the Anafartalar High School in Girne where there was an archery competition organised by the Girne Hunting Shooting and Archery Sports Club which collected money and donated it for their deceased TRNC athletes who went to a competition in Turkey and stayed in the Isias Hotel which was destroyed in the earthquake.

When I arrived, I was amazed to see so many children and adults shooting in the playground area and on a football pitch before the competition held in the sports hall began.

Now I had prepared for the competition by shooting many arrows at home last Friday afternoon and then on Saturday morning with our Lambousa Archers group only to find by Saturday night I had pains in my bow shoulder and inner elbow joint.

Lesson number 1 don’t overdo the practice and instead practice often in moderation to build up your body strength and accuracy.

Now we were all gathering in the sports hall for the 18m indoor shoot and we had the opportunity of shooting sighting arrows before shooting 3 arrows in sets in the competition.

I have had an ongoing problem since taking up archery of shooting to the left of the target which is partly due to my incorrect anchor and form or the 2 sights I have put on my bow moving, and recently I used plumbing tape to try and prevent vibration causing the sight adjustment screws from moving and in fact, my vertical adjustment had slipped and at this point, I made the classic mistake of not correcting my anchor but adjusting the horizontal sight to move the grouping point to the right.

Lesson number 2 get the anchor and form right and when you get a controlled grouping then you can adjust the horizontal setting by following the arrow to the target.

By now I have shot 4 or 5 sets with dismal results and frustration building, and also the pain in my right knee that needs replacing was complimenting the aching of my replacement hip and fused back vertebrae and all in all I was feeling very uncomfortable.

Lesson 3 focus and do not give up and keep trying.

At this point, a fellow archer said “Chris you are standing with your right foot forward so try keeping your feet in line when you shoot as it may help”.

Lesson 4 doing this did seem to do the trick despite my stance perhaps being weaker and less stable and although I was still shooting a few arrows to the left my grouping was coming back together and closer to the centre of the target and I even manage to get one arrow in the gold but by now I was suffering a lot of fatigue and a fair bit of pain in my knee.

A sad tale perhaps, but I took part in my first competition and have accepted the ups and downs of archery, and through self-analysis, I need to develop a greater level of accuracy and I understand another competition will be held soon but with a 30m shoot which will be another first for me to try and master!

With thanks to Osman Tez and other people who had taken the photos shown here and in the video..

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