Britain's archers test their nerves in front of screaming schoolchildren
Saturday, 28 May 2011
May 28 - Britain's international archers have been given a taste of things to come at London 2012 with a noisy reception from 200 schoolchildren at Archery GB's headquarters in Lilleshall.
The youngsters were invited to a simulation day to try and create an atmosphere similar to that the archers will be facing at next summer's London Olympic Games, with the archery taking place at Lord's Cricket Ground.
Archery GB's performance director Sara Symington said: "It was fantastic – the children had a great time, and the archers all benefited from the noise and mayhem.
"Obviously there's a point to it: and that is to get our archers used to the big crowds that they can expect when they take part in the London 2012 tournament at Lords.
"Some of them have been there before, such as Alison Williamson, and are well used to it.
"Others need the experience, and so hence this exercise, which we will be repeating in various ways between now and August next year."
Two time Olympian Larry Godfrey added: "I think coping with it comes with experience.
"You've got to have a specific mindset to step out on your first occasion and be totally calm.
"At major tournaments, with big crowds, such as World Cup shoots, World Championships, and so on, the crowd are generally archery friendly, and know when to make a noise, and when not to.
"At the Olympics, we are going to be performing to new audiences to the sport, and not all of them will know about the etiquette, so we have to be able to cope with all eventualities, and full credit to our coaching staff for putting this on."
There will be more opportunities for schoolchildren to watch the archery squad in action in the buildup to next summer's Games.