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British Blind Sport Archery at Lilleshall

The Bowyers' Company sponsors each year the British Blind Sport National Outdoor Archery Championships, which take place in the magnificent National Sports Centre grounds at Lilleshall, and for 2017 they were held over the weekend of 2 September, in fine weather for a change. 15 of the country's best visually impaired archers took part, competing in four categories by degree of impairment, using either recurve or compound bows. In the three most-impaired categories, the archers position their feet against a fixed marker, and touch their bow-hand against a fixed side-post, so that they can lock into a fixed stance. Each archer is accompanied by a spotter or coach, who describes where the shot landed and advises any tiny adjustments to the stance or aim. Category 1 archers, like prize-winner Stuart Rodgers pictured here with his Louth Club coach, shoot completely blacked out. At the end of the day the Master Bowyer awards the prizes, and comes away mightily impressed and humbled by the skills and dedication shown by all.

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