Louth archery club wins medals and award at British Champs

Bronze medallist Stuart Rodgers (left, and double national champion Pete Shaw with their coach and national award-winner Rick Smith (right) EMN-190919-095637002
Bronze medallist Stuart Rodgers (left, and double national champion Pete Shaw with their coach and national award-winner Rick Smith (right) EMN-190919-095637002

Louth and District Archery Club had an outstanding weekend on the national stage with British titles, medals and a coveted award.

Buoyed by the news of their shortlisting for the Lincolnshire Sport and Physical Activity Awards, the club’s vision impaired duo of Peter Shaw and Stuart Rodgers, headed to the National Sports and Conference Centre at Lilleshall, accompanied by club chairman Rick Smith.

They made the trip to Shropshire to contest the Worshipful Company of Fletchers Disability and the Worshipful Company of Bowyers British Blind Sport (BBS) Archery Outdoor Championships.

Saturday began with a WA 720 round, to determine seeding for the head-to-head matchplay, which consisted of 72 arrows shot at a 80cm target face at a distance of 30m away.

The matchplay was then shot in sets of three arrows, also at 30m at a 80cm target face.

Each set awarded two points for a win or one point for a draw, with the first archer to six points advancing to the next round.

Stuart was eliminated in the quarter-finals of the Visually Impaired V1 Class, but Peter fared better, cruising to gold in the Visually Impaired Open class.

The BBS Archery Section Outdoor Championships followed on Sunday, featuring a Burntwood modified WA 1440 round which consisted of 144 arrows shot at a 30m distance.

This was broken up into three-dozen at a 60cm face, six-dozen at 80cm and three-dozen at a 122cm face.

Again Veteran Peter came out top of the Visually Impaired Open class, scoring 1,231 out of 1,440 a little short of his national record.

However, in the Visually Impaired V1 Class, Stuart was on a mission to redeem himself and did so with a score of 415 out of 1440.

The score earned him the bronze medal and maintained his quest to retain his Team GB place for next year’s European Para-Archery Championships.

But there was to be one more accolade for the Louth club at the end of the medal presentations when Stuart’s Spotter, and LADDAC coach, Rick Smith was named the “Spotter of the Year 2019.

The trophy was presented to a standing ovation, citing his outstanding work with blind archer Stuart and his commitment to offering the VI community the chance to take part in archery.

Rick said “It was a proud moment to receive such a prestigious trophy in front of friends, fellow coaches, athletes and spotters.”

This week Stuart and Rick, travel to Andorra for an international invitation four-day tournament against the world’s top VI archers.