In April 2011, Hannah Rowley, from Nuneaton Warwickshire, then aged 8, and her family took an Easter break to Littlesea Holiday Park. As most children do, she looked through the list of activities, what to do etc, and on her list amongst other activities she wrote down Archery, and no-one could have guessed where this was to lead..
Paul Rowley, her father told us, “We knew absolutely nothing about archery at the time, only associated it with Robin Hood!”
The day came and she went for her first archery lesson, she seemed to take to it very quickly, almost naturally, she has a picture of the first time she ever tried archery with her qualified Haven instructor.She enjoyed it that much she booked to go a second time, and then a third!
Her Father discussed with her after her third visit, that when they get home does she want to join an Archery club and carry on if she enjoyed it that much…. so that is what they did.
She went through the beginner’s course at a local club in Nuneaton, which is what everyone has to do when they join, and was taken under the wing of the club coach.
To cut a long story short, she progressed at a fair rate, where she became the youngest Junior Master Bowman at the age of 9 years old on Archery GB records, a member of the Warwickshire County Squad, and competed in many tournaments both regional and National.
From this, she was invited to a talent identification phase at Archery GB headquarters at Lilleshall sports facility and progressed through the four elimination stages over 10 months..
Subsequently she was offered a coveted place at Archery GB Southern Performance Academy for the Olympic Pathway.
As well as competing in the National Junior Indoor Tournament at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry last December, where she won the bronze medal at the age of 11.
Hannah told us “using the Holiday camps like Haven, is a great way to get kids to try sports which they may not even think of taking up or trying, like archery or fencing.
………if it wasn’t for Haven, and that Easter break, I wouldn’t be where I am now, and I may never of discovered Archery at all.” Why not have a look to see if there is any activities you’d like to have a go at?
Paul said, “If Hannah does make it to a future Olympic team, Haven Littlesea is where it all started; it takes many years to train an Olympic Archer, so she is at the right age.”