Emelia Hughes, member of the Performance Conversion Academy, first picked up a bow at Warwick Castle back when she was just 11 years old. Now 17, she went back to the castle to meet with Gareth, the instructor who first showed her how to shoot a bow, Gareth was blown away by her success.
“It’s amazing for me to think that she’s come, shot with me and got the drive to continue. Her telling me that I inspired her is really touching. You never really think about inspiring anyone, so it’s moving to hear how well she’s doing,” said Gareth.
After a quick lesson on the longbow from Gareth, Emelia got stuck in helping the guests try archery.
“It’s so nice and surreal to be back where it first started, where it inspired me,” said Emelia. “It was crazy as I used to be one of them and, hopefully, it will inspire them to take up the sport. I never thought [participating in a have-a-go at Warwick Castle] would get me to where I am now. I knew I liked it and thought it was really cool to do… but it’s crazy to be here now, representing GB, compared to where I was back then.”
As part of the team representing GB at the 2nd leg of the European Youth Cup in Switzerland during early June, we asked Emelia how she manages to handle college, an apprenticeship and intensive archery training. “Training is hard, especially alongside my apprenticeship, but I have massive support from my college, Hereford and Worcester Group Training Association, and Yamazaki Mazak, where I am an engineering apprentice, really support me with all my training, which allows me to be here today.”
If you want to try archery, find an experience close to you by clicking on the link below.