TWO top archers have been calling the shots at Warwick Castle’s Festival of Archery.
Olympic archer Tom Hall, who lives in Kenilworth, and Junior National Outdoor U18 Champion Emelia Hughes, both dropped by on Tuesday (February 14) to challenge the castle’s resident bowmen.
And the visit was extra special for 16-year-old Emilia who was reunited with her very first archery instructor.
Gareth Yearley first taught Emilia to shoot during a ‘Have-a-go’ session at Warwick Castle back in 2017.
The 11-year-old Emilia was so inspired she decided to take up the ancient craft in its modern sporting form and has done so successfully.
Now Emelia is competing internationally for GB in the discipline. In 2022, she competed at the European Youth Cup in Bucharest, and the European Youth Archery Championships, which took place on home soil at Lilleshall.
When Emelia was 11, she discovered that she had a medical condition in both knees that has resulted in multiple dislocations, and knee reconstruction on one knee so far. She was told not to play any contact sport, but thanks to archery Emelia was able to continue with an activity, channelling all her energy into it.
Tom Hall meanwhile pitted his modern recurve bow against the traditional long bow of the castle bowmen in a competition of speed and accuracy.
The 32-year-old made his Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games. Having taken up archery at university, he has represented Great Britain at World University Championships twice and World University Games once. He was also part of the bronze winning team at the Archery World Cup in Antalya in 2018, and competed at the European Indoor Championships in February 2022, finishing sixth.
Currently residing in Kenilworth, Tom has a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Warwick.
The Festival of Archery runs at Warwick Castle until February 26 and features displays, stunts and tournaments.