Hi, My name is Alex. I’m 41 and I love archery. I started flinging arrows about when I was a small boy in the back garden, then at Cubs and on holiday. Next step was joining the after-school archery club when once a fortnight we shot at proper targets and used a wooden Olympic recurve bow - we all shared the same one – it even had a sight! I then left school, discovered girls and only did archery on stag does and holidays…
In 2012 I was diagnosed with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. Life and work have been massively affected since and I was told to take up a sport or join a club to help me keep my mind off my diagnosis. As I’d loved archery in my youth and some of my best friends were in a club and coaching there, I joined my local archery club. Over the next few years, I started learning to shoot properly and bought my own bow (I was in work then) and began to enter local competitions.
After a few years my legs and my hands started to play silly buggers - thanks to a car crash, which broke my back, and my MS getting worse. I was on the verge of giving up as I was finding it really difficult, but my club’s coaches lent me a compound bow, which is 1) much better fitted for shooting from a wheel chair and 2) uses a mechanical release aid to shoot, meaning I no longer need to rely on my weakening hands. After a few months of adaption, I bought a second hand compound bow and started to compete again.
In 2016, I came 3rd in the British Wheelchair Archery Association Championship – then 3rd in 2017 and I got to 2nd in 2018. 2019 was a good year and I helped my club come 3rd in the National Club On-Target Competition (with able bodied competitors) and I came 3rd in the British Disability Championships.
That is my brief archery history – so, now to why I’m trying to raise £1,800! Every bow I have ever had has been lent to me or been second hand. I have always had to adapt my archery to that bow rather than have a bow that fits me. If I’m successful in raising the money, it would go to new kit that I can adjust in every way so I can finally have a bow that FITS ME!!
The great news is that a local charity will donate £300, if I can raise the other £1,500 myself! I am so grateful to the Bedford Lions for their generosity. I have negotiated a big discount for the bow, arrows and bag/protector from a local supplier – so IF I hit the target bull’s eye, I will be equipped to compete with the very best.
Thanks for considering my request.
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