Hiya Matt and thank you for agreeing to be my third interviewee. We've known each other quite a few years now as we met in your early days shooting and we have shot together a number of times over the years. So here we go with a few questions. for you.. The 10 essential questions first.
Matt, how did you get into archery?
I've been shooting in various forms for about 23 years. It was only when I moved to Ireland in 2006 that I took up archery exclusively. I don't remember where the venue was now but there was a "have a go" day there and I absolutely fell in love with it.
Your first shoot, where,when, and with who?
Again, I don't remember the exact year, but I think it was 2008 or 2009 when I attended my first IFAF shoot. If I recall right, it was at Black Dog Archers in Cork. I have no idea who I went with, my memory is terrible!
Your favourite stand-out moment or moments to date Matt?
Andrew, I honestly can't say that I have a favourite stand-out moment. Every shoot has had its moments.
We are flying Matt, question 4 now. What is your favourite bow style and why?
This one is an easy one, Trad. I love everything about it. There is nothing better than crafting your own arrows, taking them to a shoot and having them fly well. The sense of satisfaction is immeasurable.
Question 5, What has been your proudest archery moment to date?
I think the proudest moment for me was when Elaine Foran, Andy Vagg and I decided to found a new archery club together. This club was Valley Bowmen near Kilmeaden in County Waterford. Hosting the UKIFAC was probably the highlight. Although i haven't been involved with Valley Bowmen for a long time now, I'm so pleased to see that it is in great hands and it always seems to be a very popular shoot on the calendar.
What is the best thing about archery?
The best thing about archery for me is just getting out and having a great time with different people?
You favourite archery woods, course or venue Matt?
Over the years I think Mayo has been my favourite venue. Travelling and camping there with friends, followed by an enjoyable shoot in a fantastic woods. It was always well worth the journey.
The furthest distance that you have travelled to an archery event to date?
Unfortunately, I've never done much travelling abroad for archery. I think the furthest I've been to was when I shot The Scorton Silver Arrow in Yorkshire UK. The Silver Arrow is the oldest recorded and established sporting event dating back to 1673. It can only be held within the boundaries of Yotkshire and is open to men only.
Yes Matt, I was there myself before, several years ago, It certainly is a unique and memorable event full of history.
Matt do you excel at any other sport or sports?
I'm a keen tri-cyclist. I'd be up and down the Waterford Greenway most days.
Re: Shoots, do you like camping, tents, caravaning etc, or are you a hotel person, or a travelling on the day despite the distance person?
I absolutely love camping at shoots, love the time I spend with archer friends, the chats, chilling out, and the fact we are all there together for similar reasons.
And now for the 2nd set of questions.
Matt, if you were not doing archery as a sporting pastime, what would be taking its place?
If I wasn't doing archery, I'd probably be tinkering with old VW's. I think I had six or seven of them in my yard at one point. That is when I realised I had a problem!
Are you in anyway politically minded?
No, next question!
What new skill would you love to learn?
I am quite brilliant at everything to be honest, so no need to learn any new skill... Modesty, I should probably learn modesty!
Matt, your favourite place in Ireland and why?
I am a huge fan of Irish heritage and OPW (Office of Public Works) sites and always make an effort to visit as many as possible. As for my favourite place, I'd have to say Kerry or the West of Ireland in general. It's absolutely stunning in scenery and history.
A big coincidence or weird occurrence that you've experienced?
Dunno about this one, the missus is pretty weird, does that count?
You are a brave man Matt!
If you could be at one particular past event or occasion, what would it be?
Live Aid 1985. I'm a huge Queen fan and to be there would have been something else.
Wow have to agree as I also am a huge Queen fan. Seeing them would be epic with their icon Freddie Mercury. What are your favourite Queen hits Matt?
Under Pressure featuring David Bowie. Also Who wants to live forever, Seven seas of Rye and I want it now.
Nice choice Matt. It's a coincidence that I mentioned Queen as my moment in my earlier interview.
If you won the lotto?
... It would be a miracle as I've never bought a Lotto ticket or even a scratch card. Though if I did happen to win I'd undoubtedly spend it on fast cars and loose women, and then waste the rest.
Who else thinks Matt is a brave man?
A nickname you have or had?
Definitely answering this would not be suitable for a family publication.
The one thing that you would never do again?
Bungy jumping! It felt like my insides were about to become my outsides. A really horrible experience.
And finally Matt, are you a glass half full or a glass half empty type of person?
Definitely a glass half full type of guy. I couldn't imagine going through life with such a negative outlook. It must be a miserable experience.
There are some very interesting photos here, you could pass as lord of the manor in the pic above Matt.
Incidentally, Anybody interested in learning more about the annual Scorton Silver Arrow tournament, check out www.scortonarrow.com. Several archers from here have travelled to attend in the past. There is strict dress code and ettiquite. This years event took place in Harrogate RUFC grounds and this is the same venue decided upon for 2023 also.
Thanks very much Matt, very interesting answers indeed. And great photos too with you being in the presence of some real legends in some of the above pics... I hope you all enjoy learning more about our fellow archers here in TIFAM every month... In the next edition we have the first of our female interviews. Again this is a totally random selection of archers through the Irish archery associations so please don't feel aggrieved if I haven't been in contact with you yet. Your turn will come, a bit like "This is your life" Thanks so much, Andrew