WYTHALL’S Redhill Archers are celebrating after many of the club’s junior members made the Archery GB UK junior rankings.
In order to be included on the list, junior archers are required to submit their best three scores from 12-dozen round UK record status competitions throughout the outdoor season from March to September.
The Palmer sisters are a force to be reckoned with as Heike Palmer, 14, is fifth overall in the junior ladies recurve, but also first in her under 16 category. Heike has become a young ambassador for Archery GB and recently accepted a place on GB’s National Age Group Academy Squad in which she joins sister Freya.
Sixteen-year-old Freya, ranked number seven in the UK, has been shooting since 2012 and has been accepted on to the academy for the last four years.
Both girls have competed nationally and internationally, both received their junior master bowman (JMB) classification, both hold multiple county records and Heike is a national record holder and both made the county team.
Grace Waterhouse 13, has just finished her novice year and has been shooting for just 14 months. Grace’s first year achievements include working her way up through the classifications from third to finishing at the highest – Junior Master Bowman – and she also made the County of Worcester team.
Grace is on Archery GB’s National Talent Development Programme and attends Heart of England Junior Training Centre, run by British record holder Philippa Lowe.
Grace moved up to 51st in the junior rankings and 19th in the under 14s heavily-populated category, improving her handicap by a massive 111 places from 2018. It is a huge accomplishment for someone relatively new to the sport.
Abigail Hedges, nine, and Paige Mansell, eight, both shoot in the under 12 category and are ranked 63rd and 65th respectively. Their tenacity and commitment to the competitions to qualify for rankings is admirable as they are so long and physically demanding.
Abigail’s achievements also include making the county of Worcester team.
Success for the Redhill boys begins with Charlie Medhurst, 15, ranked number one for his under 16 age group and third overall. He moved up a whopping 12 places from 2018.
Charlie trains multiple times per week, aiming to shoot up to 1,200 arrows every week. Charlie is in his second year at GB’s National Age Group academy, the purpose of which is to develop promising archers into nationally and internationally-competitive athletes, which Charlie certainly is.
He also supports and encourages younger juniors at Redhill, passing on useful tips and demonstrating good archery etiquette. Charlie made the County of Worcester team and holds his JMB classification.
This year he became the county and regional junior recurve champion and county senior recurve champion.
The Keen brothers – Jack, 12, and Dillon, nine – both competed successfully and are ranked 33rd and 41st.
Jack has moved age categories from under 12 to under 14 and that leap into the next category increases the distance to a maximum of 50m. Jack was selected to shoot for the County of Worcester and attends Heart of England training held at Redhill Archers in Wythall Park and is a JMB holder.
Dillon competes in the under 12 category and is an energetic and well-liked Redhill member. Dillon shoots both recurve and bare bow.
Redhill Archers chairwoman Sharon Medhurst said: “I am extremely proud of the commitment and dedication shown by all of our juniors and their achievements this year. I am looking forward to seeing what next year will bring.”
Heart of England founder and coach Philippa Lowe added: “I’m really proud of the Heart of England athletes who have been out and about achieving much success at competitions.
“The hard work they are all putting into improving their techniques is really starting to pay off.”