A teenage archer from Co Antrim has received a bursary as he sets his sights on this year’s world championships.
Hughes Insurance, as part of its partnership with Mary Peters Trust, has announced Jack Doherty (14), as the third recipient of a £500 bursary.
Jack, who began his sporting career in archery at the age of nine, is a member of City of Belfast Archers and is hoping to represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the 2021 World Archery Youth Championships, taking place in Poland this August.
Lady Mary said she was delighted that her Trust’s partnership with Hughes could support talented athletes like Jack.
“It has been a challenging time for our young athletes with the Covid-19 pandemic affecting training and competing, so our bursary programme has become an important opportunity to remind them that their talents are recognised. I congratulate Jack on being selected and wish him a bright future in competitive archery,” she said.
Jack, who won Northern Ireland’s Senior Archery Championship just before the first lockdown, said Covid-19 had upset his training regime but also gave him the opportunity to get stronger.
He said: “During the pandemic, I had to stop shooting and could only train in my garage. I would take videos that my coach could analyse, and we would sometimes have virtual sessions to improve any technical issues which helped me keep my form. As my shooting was reduced, my coach created a strengthening and conditioning programme which has made me stronger using my bow and will help to prevent injury.
“My immediate goal is to make the team for the World Championship later this year. My long-term ambition is to move up the pathway to the Conversion Academy which sits just below the National Squad which help me to realise my future dreams. I’ll hopefully be travelling a lot for competitions this year and the bursary will help with the costs or allow me to upgrade my equipment. It feels great to be recognised.”