First of all, if you didn’t know already, BUCS is the British University and Colleges Sport. Sports societies at each university put forward a few people to compete at BUCS nationwide.
I qualified for BUCS in late December and had a few months to practice and improve my shooting, in these few months I went from scoring 507 in January to 531 to just before BUCS, I was very happy with this improvement as it meant I might be in with a chance at BUCS.
Going to BUCS
At about 4PM after grabbing my archery kit and my sleeping kit it was time to get into a small UPSU mini bus and start the 6 hour journey towards Crawley, choosing to sit in the back next to a 6ft+ tall friend (something we would both regret a few hours later), we both watched a film to pass the time.
The rest of the journey passed uneventfully; after buying food on the road, we got into Crawley and found our hotel where we would be staying for the night, so we would be rested for BUCS the next day.
After a big FREE breakfast, we set off to the Crawley sports centre. It was time to do a kit check while the first group finished shooting. We had a few bits of kit we had to fix and a few group photos to take before it was time to go into the huge hall to get ready.
Over the course of the day over 350 people would be in this hall; when we went in there were over 100 people and over 100 bows. It was very nerve-wracking knowing that there are probably a lot of people better than me in that hall but I was still going to try to get a good score, beating my Personal Best at this competition would be a win in my eyes.
It ended up being a very fruitful competition, over the next few hours I ate a lot of Jaffa cakes, chatted to people from different universities and just generally had fun, a bonus being that I also surpassed my PB by 1 point so my goal was complete.
Once our session had finished, there were another three hours until we had the Southern Qualifier Award ceremony, we chose to leave early and get back to Plymouth three hours earlier. After more fast food from a service station, some reading and a crazy long game of eye spy, we were finally home and could sleep.
I recently found out that my score was enough to qualify me for the BUCS finals along with one other person from Plymouth, so I will be representing Plymouth once more in March time, wish me luck!
Photo credit: Malcolm Rees and Adelaide Jasper