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Archers Talkin' Archery - An Interview with Denise Rayner

1 - What is your favourite dinosaur?


2 - What club are you a member of?

Black Eagle Bowmen and Avalon Archers

3 - What is your preferred shooting style?

Compound fingers 5 pin sight. Bowhunter Limited but due to wrist injury I'm shooting same bow with release aid, so as Bowhunter Unlimited.

4 - How did you get into archery?

Centre Parcs holiday when I was 30.

5 - Who is your favourite fictional archer?

Legolas and Robin Hood

6 - What is your favourite competition type?

IFAA Field

7 - What is your favourite shooting venue?

Abroad, Switzerland and South Africa. Home Inverness, own clubs and Merlin Archery club.

8 - What is your favourite weather to shoot in?

Fresh spring dry day. Also enjoy shooting in snow.

9 - Would you rather do archery whilst riding a unicorn or a pegasus?


10 - What is the oddest thing you have seen during a competition?

Archer carrying 6 ft x 8” log because his arrow was stuck in it and he had left his knife in the car.

11 - What is the highest level of competition you have shot in?

IFAA world championships

12 - What is the best shot you have made in a competition?

U.K. champs Wales in 1990’s. Needed 20 (max) on last target to tie 4 arrows spot scoring a 5. Target near muster area so lots watching. Scored 20 and won on x count. No shoot off then. They shoot off ties now.

13 - Which fictious archers would you want on your side for a team match?

Artemis, Merida, Legolas and Robin Hood

14 - What are your goals in archery?

To become a good coach

15 - What is your proudest achievement in the sport?

Winning world championships in 3 different styles. Holding World, European and National records in 5 styles.

16 - What is the best advice you have been given in archery?

There is more than one way to do anything in archery, you have to find the one that suits you.

17 - How do you think you would have fared in the stone age with a bow and arrows?

Awful. I couldn’t kill anything.

18 - What is the one thing you really enjoy in the sport?

Meeting other archers from around the world and sharing stories.

19 - What one thing in the sport irritates you the most?

1. Obsession with arrow speed. So many archers are over bowed. They suffer career ending injuries rather than shoot lower poundage. Due to injury before I started shooting, breast cancer and a wrist injury since I have alway shot low poundage but still been competitive. I wish more archers would listen to their bodies and just reduce the poundage… More people would stay in the sport. 2. I am a lefty… Everything written from a right handed archers point of view and then told to reverse… Not always easy to do that with some technical settings.

20 - What would you like to see in terms of improvement within archery as a sport?

More support to retain shooting grounds. Closer collaboration between associations. Government support for non Olympic sports.

21 - What do you think would make a great mascot for the sport of archery?

Mythical creature with traits needed to be a good archer.

22 - Who is your most fervent supporter?

My partner Jo.

23 - If you could shoot another bow style, what would it be?

If my wrist allowed, English Longbow.

24 - Any advice for girls/women in archery?

Don’t be pressurised into shooting poundage you are not comfortable with. Connect with other female archers for support… Your equipment should be as good as that of your other significant half… Know how to set up and maintain your own equipment.


Photo one, Lego cover photo, credit - Matt Latimer

Photo two, of Denise Rayner, credit - Malcolm Rees

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