By Sharon Harris

A MUM who became a world archery champion, and one of the few citizens to receive the freedom of Barry, is encouraging people to take up the sport when the coronavirus lockdown ends.

Mum-of-one Theresa Goodwin-Harrison hopes all generations will want to pledge to taking up new socially orientated hobbies having been restricted in what they have been able to do outdoors.

Mrs Goodwin-Harrison said: “Archery is a sport which can be done by all, no matter what age, ability or gender.

“Archery combines mental and physical exercise on a level suited to those who are taking part.

“I first started archery eight years ago with my son, just as a hobby but I soon realised that I had a hidden talent.

“Since then archery has become a major part in my life.

“It’s given me a sense of direction, drive and purpose to my life where I wasn’t sure where I was heading.

“With having a goal of wanting to become World Champion one day, I set a road and sat down and planned it with the help of my coach and club.

“During this I learnt all about mind set and how it helps with whatever your journey may be.

“And along the road I met new friends and some very extraordinary people and forming bonds that I thought I would never have met eight years ago.”

“It is not an impact sport and equipment can be tailored to all abilities giving you the freedom to take your time and do archery at your own pace,” she said.

“Archery is great for helping to develop concentration skills and discipline, hand-eye coordination and strength.

“The mix of walking and shooting with this sport can also help with mental health and wellbeing.

“There are plenty of clubs in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.

“These clubs are normally either target archery which is like what you see on the Olympics or field archery.

“This is normally walking round a wooded area shooting uphill and downhill similar to what you would you do on a golf course.

“Most clubs offer a beginner’s course which will go through the basics of archery equipment and how to use it safety and the fun aspects of archery.”

The Archery GB website has information about clubs for target archery and the Welsh field archery association (WFAA) has got information about Field archery.

Mrs Goodwin-Harrison said: “Many people get into archery when they’ve tried it at a fair or have been on holiday and have come back and wanting to learn more through a club.

“Many people don’t know where to take archery as a hobby or as a profession.

“Getting into competitions will help you with finding what you want out of this sport, both target and field archery have awards and a progression system so there is always an avenue of competition if you want one.

“I have been a member of Llantwit Major Archery Club since I started archery where I compete Internationally.

“Becoming world champion and having various medals in the Europeans and now find myself helping to run the club and my love for archery has also encouraged me to start my own business.

“True Aim Archery is a mobile archery unit offering have-a-go days, corporate and team building, birthday parties and coaching beginner courses at our venue in Fonmon, opening out forest archery and a forest school.

“All the archery I have done with True Aim has been amazing.

“I’m just setting up an archery forest school at Fonmon and a forest school for all ages.

“After covid-19 has finished I’m getting back on the horse and going to do loads.

“I really miss coaching and shooting.”

She added: “We were supposed to be doing the Welsh and open outdoors championships and the UK and Irish outdoor championships along with loads of other competitions around Wales.

“We had just finished the indoor season and the outdoor season didn’t really begin.

“But the training and working towards our goals is carrying on in our back garden doing shorter rounds and working on our shots.

“I think with this timeout, it’s giving me and a lot of other archers time to prepare for their competitions ahead.

“I think next year will be the biggest year.

“We have the worlds indoor IFAA championships in Kent and the Europeans championships outdoors too.

“Exciting times.”