ARCHERY: Rudd is taking aim

This Is Wiltshire: Mark Rudd is hoping for more World Cup experience wiith Great Britain Mark Rudd is hoping for more World Cup experience wiith Great Britain

MARK Rudd is hoping he can take a step towards his dream of making it to the top of the world by hitting the mark in the Archery World Cup.

Rudd, 48, who lives in Beechingstoke and has been competing internationally since 2012, the same year he achieved the rank of Grand Master Bowman, shot for Great Britain in Shanghai late last month in the first round of this year’s World Cup.

The Devizes Bowmen member was unable to raise the funds necessary to compete in the following round in Colombia, which began on Tuesday, but is aiming to be back in contention for June’s third round in Antalya, Turkey, when he shoots in a GB selection event at Lilleshall’s National Sports Centre next month.

“Having ranked number seven in the UK in 2013, I was offered the chance to attend my first ever World Cup event – it was my first experience shooting for GB and also at a major event,” said Rudd, who works as a software engineer and contractor.

“I shot 679 out of a possible 720 at 50 metres, about a point more than I averaged in the previous season. I was shooting with the best of the best in the world and really enjoyed the experience.

“I picked my old bow up from the back of the cupboard in 2006 and tried archery again after a 19-year sabbatical.

“I am 48 years old – quite unusual for a member of Team GB and something I hope may inspire other similarly aged sportsmen or women to take up archery. In many sports, their age would be a barrier to success “There’s little funding available to us, even at GB level, so many trips are self funded. This was the case with my Shanghai trip and also the Colombian second stage.

“So if there are any people or organisations in the area who would like to support a local archer in his attempts to be the best in the world, then I’d love to speak with them.”

As part of Archery GB’s Big Weekend, Devizes Bowmen will hold a taster event for anyone wanting to try their hand from 10am-4pm on Sunday, May 25, on the green in the centre of Devizes, including an 11.30am demonstration by Rudd.

The club are also on the hunt for a new permanent home and are interested in hearing from local landowners or information on potential sites. Contact treasurer Neil Lockhart on 01380 816702 or 07717 156409.

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