Peart out to prove a point

IPSWICH will witness some of the world's very best archers next year in the UK's first international archery competition with prize money, it emerged today.

Stuart Watson

IPSWICH will witness some of the world's very best archers next year in the UK's first international archery competition with prize money, it emerged today.

Organised by Ipswich's world-class archer Michael Peart, the competition will be held across the track at Northgate Sports Centre on September 19-20 next year.

Currently there are a number of big archery events in the UK, however, they tend to be exclusively attended by British archers because of the distinct lack of prize money to attract competitors from further afield.


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As a result, Peart - who agonisingly missed out on a place in the GB archery squad for Beijing - approached Ipswich Borough Council's Team Ipswich sports initiative to organise for a new competition with £500 prize money and extra bonuses to be held in his home town.

The 31-year-old said: “After I just missed out on the Olympics I had a bit of time on my hands and was starting to look ahead to next year's calendar.

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“It suddenly dawned on me that I always have to travel to other countries for international shoots if I am to win any decent prize money. Here in the UK we see some really big shoots, with up to 300 people taking part, but the international archers never come over.

“The reason is that if you win a shoot here you get a little medal worth 50p, while the equivalent shoot in Holland could see you walk away with five grand.

“What this means is that the British archers often don't get an experience of shooting against international competitors until they are actually in the Great Britain squad and by then it could be too late.”

The Ipswich international competition will include both disciplines of recurve and compound and is open to both women and men and able and disabled shooters.

The prize money of £500 has been boosted by pledges of cash bonuses from two leading bow manufacturers, along with contributions of essential equipment from other local suppliers.

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