By Claire Cooper
It’s just two years since archery returned to Cuckfield but already young archers are on target to become some of the best in the county!
Members of the junior girls’ team took part in their first two competitions last year and not only won the team prize but also an individual trophy.
“We were stunned,” said club secretary Bridget Dolan. “The girls were competing against juniors from all over Sussex. They worked well as a team; their scores were consistently good and that made all the difference!”
The girls, Aoife Rice, Imogen Ferguson and Holly Hatch, were delighted to bring back the first team trophy for the Cuckfield Archers. And there was more good news when Holly went on to take the Recurve Trophy at the Eastbourne Junior Tournament.
“I didn’t have any expectations and I think that helped a lot,” said Holly. “I wasn’t nervous and just enjoyed it.”
The girls’ success is a fitting tribute to the small and dedicated committee which has not only brought archery back to the village but introduced a new generation of villagers to the increasingly popular sport.
Bridget explained how she came to join the Cuckfield Archers and take up the sport which has now become a big part of her life.
“My daughter tried archery while on an activity holiday and just loved it,” said Bridget. “Shortly afterwards I read a story in a local newspaper about plans to resurrect the former Cuckfield Bowmen, I had no intention of joining; I just took her along to a meeting to find out more.”
Before she knew it she was club chairperson! The initial meetings were set up by former Cuckfield Bowmen Roy Viccari and John Stevens. “The original Cuckfield Bowmen were set up in 1973 but moved Hitting the target! to Ditchling after health and safety concerns meant they could no longer train on Whiteman’s Green,” said Bridget. “Ditchling Archers are still going strong.”
Spurred on by the success of British archers in the Paralympic Games, the first meetings attracted several villagers interested in taking up the sport, as well as experienced archers.
Read full article on pages 16/17.