I have just had a breakthrough of great precedence in my quest to be a championship archer. Bow International magazine has published and broke the news of my petition on change.org to make archery a core sport in the Commonwealth Games. It has now reached a maximum number of 358 supporters and had 1.4 K views in the 48 hours since it was made public. It has been shared amongst so many people that even the big names in the archery world have shared it and signed. Archers like Team England’s and Team GB’s Amy Oliver and the archers of the Commonwealth who shot for their home nations at the 2010 New Delhi games have got on the bandwagon. My fellow archer friends at West Essex Bowman have also taken upon it and signed it passing it around to their friends. Thanks a lot guys, it means a lot to me as well it does to you.
When I became an archer three years ago I didn’t want to take up a new sport, I wanted to do my bit for the archery community and fulfil the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics which was to inspire a generation. I didn’t just to grab a bow, I wanted to improve things. I found my life’s mission as an athlete when I realised something missing from the Commonwealth Games and when I volunteered to work at the Glasgow 2014 Games I saw an opportunity whilst I was working there. I could help expand it’s games programme and bring about a sport that appealed to all Commonwealth nations that could be upgraded to a core status – archery.
There are other sports which are worthy of upgrading too. Sports which reflect the identity of the Commonwealth and the culture of the nations within it. Each and every international multi-sport games has it’s own unique set of sports that are connected to their style and character of champion which also celebrates their heritage and culture. The Olympics are about supreme gods of wisdom, power, strength and endurance and this they do through high octane glorious sports like athletics, swimming, boxing, judo and rowing. The Highland Games celebrate Scottish and Celtic culture with sports that they excel at in the Highlands like caber tossing and hammer throwing.
The Commonwealth Games celebrate the historical unity and the goodwill of imperial connections to the former colonies and territories of the British Empire, through a common interest in sports and aspirations of strength, humanity, equality and destiny. What sports are there that the former colonies of my homeland share with the Commonwealth? Well in the case of archery there is a folklore of the bow and arrow connected to each and every one of them. In the case of England the tale of Robin Hood and the longbow used at Agincourt. There is also the tribal societies of Africa who used bows for hunting and continue this graceful art of shooting using bare bows in some parts of Africa today. Even in the Far East we have archery played as a modern sport and celebrated as a sport of their nation’s character and historical past times. Places like India (which hosted archery at the 2010 Commonwealth Games) and Malaysia, which is home to the current president of the Commonwealth Games Federation. Malaysia has a proud history of archery and celebrates it with an international games for archers using traditional bows like bare bows and longbows. They even practice horseback archery, a type of archery that I am keen to try out. But I’ll have to learn to ride a horse first!