A BRECHIN-based archer has targeted the 2018 Olympic team as he seeks to continue his development in a sport he first tried while on holiday with his wife.
However, now Kenny Bruce, who participates in the sport along with his wife Barbara, hopes he can go as far as he can in his chosen discipline.
Ken explained that he happened across archery by accident, but the sport now takes up much of his spare time and is also described as a “highly sociable sport.”
Ken said: “I have been involved in the sport two-and-a-half years.
“We were in holiday in Tunisia and it was an all-inclusive package. The entertainers came around and asked us if we fancied trying archery.
“My wife and I said we would like to try it and to be honest we were both absolutely hooked from day one.
“We shot every afternoon at the same time for the remainder of our holiday.
“When we returned home we immediately booked the same holiday at the same venue and the same hotel purely to do the archery.
“In the meantime, I searched around for a club in our area.
“Eventually I joined the Links Archers in Montrose and we started a beginners’ course and the second holiday followed that, by which time we were absolutely hooked on it.
“We got our own bows and did a beginners’ course of six weeks and were completely hooked by that time. Archery can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want it to be.
“It largely depends on the level of commitment you put in yourself. I will shoot four or five times a week, therefore there is a considerable investment in our kit.
“We started entering competitions and picking up little medals here and there as novices.
“That gave us that confidence boost and now we have been sucked into it big time.”
“Barbara and Kenny have both now reach the Scottish national squad.
“It began a hobby we picked up together and, with the ladies shooting in a different category, both of us have made considerable progress.
“We have now also been invited to take part in an international tournament by Archery GB, the sport’s nationwide governing body, which will see us compete in Boe, France in a Grand Prix event. So things are moving quite quickly for us.
“You can register as a club archer, which brings you in direct competition against some of the world’s best archers.
“However, it is always interesting to see where you can draw a line in the sand and see where you are compared to them.
“It’s good to assess where we need to get further coaching to get to that level.
“I really want to shoot for my country and that is my ultimate goal. To pull on that jersey would give me a great sense of pride.
“The 2018 Olympics will feature archery and that is the long-term target for me.
“We practice regularly. However, Angus Council’s pricing structure has changed in the last year and is placing pressures on a number of minority sports.
“Montrose Leisure Centre’s recent closure caused a problem for us and we have just started at Brechin Leisure Centre a few weeks ago as an indoor facility.
“There is also another outdoor facility which most of us use in Montrose.
“I also have the use of a piece of land from my employer and I am very grateful to him, as it allows me to have a full range set up all the time.
“I go there rather than going to Montrose or even Brechin, because it allows me to shoot at 100 yards, rather than 20 yards and that plays a major role in keeping your endurance and fitness up.
“I wear glasses and I have a clarifier on my bow, which assists me in the precise mathematics of distance between bow and target.
“Anyone can take part in archery and its something I would encourage people to try.
“One place they can gain further information on the sport is firstname.lastname@example.org
“The sport is open to anyone from eight years of age up and is crying out for more junior members to come and take part.
“It has also adapted greatly and many disabled people are involved in the sport to a very high standard.”
Kenny was recently ranked 48th in the entire UK in the sport and ranking he was pleased about, but one who has also immediately targeted to improve upon.