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Byron Shire
February 4, 2023

Isabel aiming for a chance at archery

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Isabel have only been shooting arrows for a few months but already she is very good at hitting her mark. Photo Eve Jeffery.

A group of enthusiasts, including young Isabel the Archer, are banding together to open Byron Bay’s first archery club.

‘We have had a brief initial talk with Byron Shire Council’s sporting fields co-ordinator,’ says Vinnie Bleakly, who is a competitive archer.

‘They have earmarked possible locations within Byron and Mullumbimby that could be used for archery.’

Isabel is learning big guns, coach Vinnie Bleakley and dad Matt. Photo Eve Jeffery.

Vinnie has had a great career recently and has competed in and won silver at the 2012 Pan Pacific Masters, the 2014 South Queensland Short Range Championships, and the 2014 South Queensland Target Championships.

In 2013 Vinnie travelled to Las Vegas to attend the World Archery Festival, attending seminars and coaching sessions. ‘This year I am travelling to the National Championships in Geelong, Victoria in October to compete for the national title. I hope to compete at a world level in the future.’

The club will not only provide coaching, but the opportunity to compete against other members and other clubs in the area.

There is no age limit in either direction and it is a sport for people with varying degrees of ability and fitness. ‘Archery is a great sport for all people, and is one of the few sports that doesn’t discriminate on age, gender, ability/disability or physical attributes,’ says Vinnie. ‘All people can compete on the same shooting line together. You don’t need to be fast, tall, short or overly strong to be a high performer.’

Anyone who is interested in having a go can email [email protected] or phone Vinnie on 0400 145 885 to find out more information.

Vinnie Bleakley has a world of experience in his quiver. Photo Eve Jeffery
World class archer Vinnie Bleakley has a world of experience in his quiver. Photo Eve Jeffery

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