DEER PARK Archer Phoebe Pine has a realistic chance of taking part in the Rio Olympics next year, according to her coach.
Phoebe, from Cirencester, took a step closer to representing her country later this year at the World Archery Para Championships in Germany after breaking her first British record a few weeks ago.
Cirencester College student Phoebe, 17, suffers from spina bifida, a birth defect that can cause issues with stamina among other things, but she trains hard to overcome this obstacle.
Deer Park Archers coach Roger Crang is excited about her as a prospect for the future.
“Her archery is improving almost week on week,” he said. “Two and a half years ago she came along to try archery and she’s grown incredibly during that time.
“She’s in a very strong position to stake her claim for a place in Rio.
“She’s definitely in with a shout, even though she’s obviously incredibly young.
“She is up there in terms of the scores she’s recording and has been told she’s definitely a consideration, if not this time then definitely the Olympics after.
“Currently she’s getting herself ready for a big selection event.
“We’ve put her through training to become a coach as well, which is developing her archery.”
Cirencester brothers Alex and Callum Fraser have also starred for Deer Park Archers when beating Tyndale Archers in the first round of the OnTarget National Inter-Club Team Competition.
The pair are both former national junior champions and were unbeaten in the match.
Alex and Callum shot compound alongside team-mates Andy and Nicola Cramb shooting recurve as they comprehensively beat Tyndale 723 to 589.
The pair scored 425 in the compound round against another family pairing from Tyndale, Chris and Heather Brown who scored 318.
Deer Park took all four matches in the individual head-to-heads to take home a convincing win.
They’ve subsequently been given a bye in the next round of the competition that Crang describes as ‘Archery GB’s answer to the FA Cup,’ after Cheltenham withdrew when they got drawn with Deer Park in the next round.
Crang’s Deer Park Archers, which is settling into its new home in Shurdington, is not only scoring successes at club level, but also introducing hundreds of young children to the sport.
“Across Gloucestershire we’ve got the strongest primary school games programme in the country,” Roger explained.
“Deer Park Archers support and provide equipment for these games and we’re seeing increasing participation levels.
“We run all primary school archery that enters the Sainsbury School Games and we also do secondary school games as well.
“As a club, we’ve expanded now and have got the biggest junior membership in the country.
“Within that structure it’s not just club members; we have three satellite clubs which we’ve formed with more than 100 members.
“Within the school activities we have 300 students and we’ve just bought our own ground and fundraised to do that.
“We’ve just put in an application for grants worth more than £100,000, and we’re confident we will get those.”
James Howse, a 14-year-old member of Deer Park Archers, and fellow teenager from the club, Lucy Mason, have been selected to represent Great Britain in the World Youth Championships in Yankton, USA.
James was part of the Cadet Men’s Compound bronze medal-winning team at the European Outdoor Youth Championships in Slovenia, 2014.
James will be shooting compound in the cadet men section; Lucy will also be shooting compound with the cadet women.
Archery GB has selected 23 cadet and junior archers to represent GB in the States between June 8 and 14 against around 600 athletes from 60 countries across the world.
Lloyd Brown, head of athlete and coach development at Archery GB, said: “It is a really exciting time for Archery GB’s youth team,. Although young, the squad has some great experience within national and international competitions.
"The squad of 23 archers, from across the UK, are the future of Archery GB and we are really proud of all of them for qualifying for the World Youth Championships.”