Bromyard Bowmen's Vicky Jenkins named in Archery GB squad for Thailand

Hereford Times: (3324945) (3324945)

SHOOTING star Vicky Jenkins has booked her plane ticket to Thailand after soaring into the Archery GB squad.

The 36-year-old wheelchair archer will be competing at this month’s Big Weekend in Telford and at the Asian Bangkok Grand Prix in March.

Vicky, a Bromyard Bowmen member, is dreaming of a place at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.

“It has all happened very quickly,” said Vicky who shoots in the W1 ladies’ compound class.

“Bromyard Bowmen’s chairman Eddy Payne suggested that I put my name down for a talent identification day and I went to Lilleshall.

“I had an interview at Archery GB and was asked to come back for a two-day session to shoot with the national team.

“I did well and I was told at Christmas that I had been selected for the GB Paralympic squad.

"But I had to keep the news quiet before it was made official.

"I will be travelling to Bangkok to compete in March and I am very excited about that."

Vicky worked as a qualified helicopter instructor at Wolverhampton Business Airport before she became ill with a neurology problem 14 years ago.

“I suddenly starting having pains in my hips and that pain radiated to my back and I became ill very quickly,” recalled Vicky.

“It was a neurological problem which got worse and now I am in constant pain. I have tremors and muscle spasms.”

Vicky, who lives in Malvern, took up archery four years ago, shooting a compound bow from a wheelchair, and moved to Bromyard Bowmen last May.

“I think I had a couple of goes at archery when I was at school and four years ago when I heard about someone disabled doing it, I thought I would have another go.”

“When I started shooting, I could hardly pull back the bow half-way.”

I had an interview and was asked to come back for a two-day session to shoot with the team.

Vicky spent the first two days of this week training with the GB squad at Lilleshall and she will be shooting in Bromyard tonight and on Sunday.

Since joining Bromyard, Vicky has made great progress in tournaments, shooting alongside and competing against able-bodied archers.

Vicky achieved her Bowman classification – the third highest archery classification below Master Bowman and Grand Master Bowman.

She also received a Six-Gold-End badge awarded to archers who get all six arrows in the centre at a distance of 60 yards or more.

“I went to a competition in Bromyard and they were very helpful and very nice and I asked whether I could join the club,” she said.

“Eddy Payne has just passed his level two coaching qualification and he’s been very good to me and pointed me in the right direction.”

Bromyard Bowmen spokesman Carolyn Warren said Vicky’s fellow club members were thrilled with her selection for the national squad.

“Vicky will be going to Bangkok in March to represent Great Britain, and has her sights firmly set on the goal of the Rio Paralympics,” said Carolyn.

“Vicky has emphasised how friendly the club members are and has been impressed by the coaching, particularly the advice and encouragement shown by Eddy Payne.”

Bromyard Bowmen shoot at the Clive Richards Sports Ground and have their own indoor shooting hall for the winter season.

The club has about 50 members of all ages and shoot on Bromyard rugby pitch during the summer.

Carolyn said: “There aren't many sports where a nine-year-old boy could be shooting with their grandparents.”

“You have to do a beginners' course first of which we run about four a year, comprising three Saturday mornings in a row.”

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