Read this heart warming interview with our sponsored archer Oliver Robinson.
One of our youngest team members, Oliver was born in Blackburn in 2006, he has now been shooting since he was 8. Originally shooting barebow, he moved over to compound almost 3 years ago.
He shoots most weekends at competitions up and down the UK, representing his club Blackburn Archery and has taken part in the Archery GB Talent Development Programme for the last two years. Although he has already achieved important results, he continues to work hard towards his goal of being selected in the GB junior squads.
“I try and learn as much from them as possible as I know that I have many years still to improve”Oliver Robinson
TASH: When did you start shooting? And why did you choose this sport?
O.R.: I started shooting in 2014, just after my 8th birthday – it feels much longer than this! I began shooting after my Dad tried a “Taster Session” at Blackburn Archery, after which he completed his beginners’ course. I attended a couple of sessions and it was great fun, and it wasn’t a sport that people talked much about, none of my friends did archery. I also liked archery as I got to meet lots of new friends whilst shooting.
TASH: How do you manage school and training? How often do you train during the week?
O.R.: It’s really easy for me to separate my schoolwork from training, I recently started secondary school and try to focus on my training after school and at weekends.
I train on the archery range at least a couple of times a week, I am shooting in competitions almost every weekend up and down the UK, but mainly in my local counties Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cheshire and Cumbria.
I work on my strength each day after school by using my clini-band and weights.
In addition to training at home, I attend Lancashire Junior Squad training sessions monthly throughout the winter, as well as attending the Archery GB Talent Development Programme at Lilleshall every 3 months.
“Most of my opponents are bigger than Dad”Oliver Robinson
TASH: Having turned 12 means that now you can shoot also in the U21 categories, which is a whole new level for you. In May you participated in a competition and you wrote “most of my opponents are bigger than Dad”: how do you feel to compete against archers who are older than you?
O.R.: I try not to think about who I am shooting against too much, I always try and focus on my own technique, and aiming to beat my own previous PB’s. Shooting with older archers makes me nervous to start with, but I have shot with lots of archers that are older than me or shoot with GB squads, so I try and learn as much from them as possible as I know that I have many years still to improve.
TASH: In April, you bought a brand-new bow: why did you choose this kind of bow? How did it help improve your technique?
O. R.: We looked at lots of different makes of compound bows, but being little and left-handed meant that there aren’t many bows to try out in shops. We knew that we needed a bow that would reach 50m and allow me to grow, so settled on the PSE Phenom. It has a good range of adjustability and the overall riser weight wasn’t too heavy and the draw stop was much, much firmer than my old bow. Since I have swapped to the PSE it has helped me to really work on my technique with my coach, particularly working on using my hinge release without snatching, and learning to keep my front
shoulder steady. I have been shooting the bow for a few months, and my scores are starting to increase.
TASH: Even if you are very young, you look very determined to achieve great results. What are your next goals?
O.R.: I want to always perform the best that I can do, my next goals are to be selected to shoot with the GB squads, as I think this additional support will really help me improve and develop. I would like to continue to win lots of medals as well as achieve some U14 records for my county.
TASH: What do you want to be when you grow up? Do you think archery will be part of your future?
O.R.: At the moment I have no idea what I want to do when I grow up, but I hope that archery is always part of my future, I would like to support other young people to get into the sport.
We wish him all the luck in the world.
The Archery Shop