Larry Godfrey: Children go wild for archery

26 May 2011 / 14:00

 

Two time Olympic Archer and 2012 Hopeful Larry Godfrey can cope with pressure but recognises that for some, it can be an intimidating experience:

British international archers have been given a taster of what to expect at next year’s London Olympic Games, when 200 schoolchildren accepted the opportunity to turn up and watch us shoot - and make as much noise as possible!
 
All archers who take part at the London 2012 Games will be shooting in front of big crowds, and coaches at Archery GB are already preparing us - the squad - on how to cope with the noise and rowdy atmosphere of a major sporting event. 
 
Children from schools local to Archery GB’s HQ at Lilleshall were invited to come along to a simulation day, and create the kind of atmosphere we can expect to face next year. And the kids relished the opportunity.

Some of us archers have been to an Olympic Games before, such as Alison Williamson, and are well used to it. But others need the experience, and so hence this exercise, which will be repeated in various ways between now and August next year.

I think coping with it comes with experience. You've got to have a specific mindset to step out on your first occasion and be totally calm. At major tournaments, with big crowds, such as World Cup shoots, world championships, and so on, the crowd are generally archery friendly, and know when to make a noise, and when not to.
 
At the Olympics, we are going to be performing to new audiences to the sport, and not all of them will know about the etiquette, so we have to be able to cope with all eventualities, and full credit to our coaching staff for putting this on.
 
There was a meaning to it, but it was great fun, and it was a great PR exercise for Archery GB too, because the children had a wonderful time , and it was a pleasure seeing them enjoying themselves so much.

Larry Godfrey

GB Archery website