Blind Louth archer wins spot on GB’s world championship team

Hard work and perseverance paid off for blind archer Stuart Rodgers after he won selection to represent Great Britain on the world stage.

Rodgers, a member of Louth and District Archery Club, will shoot for Britain at the World Para-Archery Championships in Beijing, China, in September.

The quest for glory of the Sutton-on-Sea archer has been something of a challenge this year with a busy schedule of competitions.

Earlier this year he enjoyed success in Europe, winning silver at the 2017 Visually Impaired Archery Tournament at St Herblain, in France, after coming through head-to-head matchplay shoot-out finals.

Here in the UK, he claimed a gold medal at the Deer Park Para-Archery WA 18 in Cheltenham, and then secured another podium finish at the Worshipful Company of Fletchers British Blind Sport Archery Indoor Championships.

Having sent out these reminders to British team selection, he was then required to travel to Stoke Mandeville last month to compete at a world record status para-Archery event hosted by the British Wheelchair Archery Association.

He finished second in his VI classification to clinch his place, and carried this form into a East Midlands Archery Society shoot at Washingborough, in Lincolnshire, the following weekend where he recorded county and district records.

Not satisfied with those performances, Rodgers travelled to Andorra earlier this month to shoot the 2017 International Open Of Andorra For Vision Impaired Archers.

There he won a bronze medal against competitors from Andorra, France and Spain.

His coach, spotter and mentor Rick Smith, who helped convince Rodgers to take up the sport, will accompany him on the long trip to the Far East.

“Stuart is an inspiration to support; he is so dedicated to doing his best regardless of the conditions and the opposition,” he said.

“I will be honoured to help him in his quest for world championship competition.”

* Louth and District Archery Club is appealing for sponsorship and donations to help fund Stuart and Rick’s 10-day trip to China.

If you can help, and for more information, call 07914 328384, visit the Louth Archery Club page on Facebook, or email laddac@hotmail.co.uk