Blind archery one step nearer to Paralympics
British Blind Sport (BBS) Archery has appointed Graham Rees-Evans to manage the team of visually impaired (VI) archers who will be competing as part of the GB Para Archery Team in the World Championships in August. This is the first time VI archers will have their own competition within the World Championships, and is a significant move towards VI archery gaining wider recognition at international competition level. Graham will join the Archery GB staff team for this event.
An experienced archer, Graham has worked with VI archers from a young age and is logistics manager for the two national BBS Archery events held each year. His daytime job is developing and testing adaptive software for disabled users, and sharing that knowledge across the world.
BBS Archery chair David Poyner has been on a 10-year quest to have VI archery recognised on an international scale, with the aim of having VI archery in the Paralympics. His battle to get the right people involved and committed to his cause culminated in a meeting with the key archery and Para sport authorities during the 2012 Paralympics. This is turn led to an international seminar and VI archery demonstration held at Lilleshall in 2013 and subsequent agreement on sight classifications. VI archers will now participate in the World Championships in Germany, 24 – 30 August 2015 and, depending on the success of this test event, be considered as a Paralympic sport for 2020.