Joyce hits the target to smash Scottish archery record

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A PETERHEAD woman has just smashed the Scottish record for longbow in an archery competition held in Forfar last month.

No mean feat in itself, but Joyce Clark of Burnside, Faichfield, only took up the sport just over a year ago as a hobby and turned 72 on her last birthday!

Speaking to the Buchanie on Wednesday Joyce said she had been “totally shocked” to learn that she had smashed the previous longbow record, held by R. Williams and set on February 10, 2002, by a mammoth 30 points.

“The previous record was 97, while my score was 127 - and even then I thought I hadn’t done that well,” explained Joyce.

“You get 60 arrows in total and I managed to hit the target 45 times and I was angry with myself that I had missed 15, but when I got back my team mates were all saying how well I’d done and it was only then that I was told I had broken the longbow Scottish record.”

The paperwork has now been sent away to the Scottish Archery governing body for confirmation of the record, but in the meantime, Joyce says she will continue to attend the Doric Bowmen club in Peterhead where she practices weekly.

“I have been a member of the club for just over a year now, but originally tried archery when I was on holiday in Tunisia with my husband David,” explained Joyce.

“It was a fun hobby which we could do together and we found that we really enjoyed it. Luckily there was a club in Peterhead and we managed to join and we did a six-week training course and now we have bought our own bows.”

Joyce explained that there are three types of bow - longbow, recurve and compound - but she prefers the longbow as it is the lighter of the three and much easier for her to use.

“To see it, it looks like the kind used by Robin Hood,” she said. “The recurve is slightly more professional, while the compound bows are highly technical and are geared to hit the gold every time.”

Joyce enjoyed success in the novice championship in Montrose in October last year and then in January this year at the Northern SAA area indoor championship.

Her latest victory - and the Scottish record - came in the Lochside Bowmen event in Forfar in the Wocester round.

“Six members of the club competed at the event and only one of us returned without a medal which is a great achievement,” she said.

And of her feat, A modest Joyce said: “To break the record after that many years in the sport was a bit of a surprise for me.”

Joyce is currently the oldest member of the Doric Bowmen, with the youngest member being only eight years old.

The club is split into junior and senior sections, with the juniors meeting on a Friday from 6.30pm to 8.30pm and the seniors on a Sunday from 2pm to 4pm at Peterhead Community Centre.

Joyce added: “It’s a wonderful sport and I would recommend it to anyone. It’s great for all ages and for those who may be disabled, and it’s very addictive once you start.”