Editorial Articles (all) 2001/2002

Team bronze, individual silver in Thailand. 15/Jul/02

Messers Mundon, Spinner and Wilkins picked up team bronze against the Thais, after being knocked out by the US. After a tough route through to the final, Tim Mundon was finally undone by another American, adding to his FISU medal collection. James Bingham finished 10th in the tough Gents recurve division, whilst Richard Wilkins and Dave Spinner were last 16 casualties.

What a good thing BUSA allowed another compound to travel, as they will no doubt claim a large chunk of the credit for team bronze in Gents Compound division. All three compounds suffered technical difficulties in qualification, which handed them difficult draws. This despite the presence of a team coach and a manager, which is disappointing. Still a very creditable performance and one which can be built upon in Korea.

Dave Spinner added to FISU Champ team. 04/Jul/02.

After discussions at BUSA Outdoor Champs on 22nd June alledgedly involving team coach Ken Bearman and especially GNAS Chief Executive Dave Sherratt, cornering BUSA'a Mark Brian, Dave "Spinman" Spinner (ULU) has been added to the World Uni Archery Championships in Thailand in a week's time. The extra place will be funded individually but channelled through GNAS. Taking a full Gents Compound (undoubtedly our strongest division) team to Thailand, whilst keeping the individual recurve is excellent news - it is only disappointing that it took such pressure as that from the GNAS Chief Exec. to get a move out of the BUSA selectors.

Now all BUSA need to do is find a sponsor, get the team some proper kit and send a full team when archery makes its full World Student Games debut in Korea (where else) in 2003.

BUSA Championships 2002 - Edinbugh win, York then Bath. 24/Jun/02

See BUSA Outdoor 2002 link on Resources Page.

BUSA/FISU Funding Issues. Jun/02

Below is an email I was forwarded, although the UKSAA was not involved specifically, I think everyone should see what Dave Spinner (ULU) found out when he spoke to Mark Brian at BUSA.

Hi guys,

Well Iíve just had a nice long chat with Mark Brian at BUSA about funding etc. The first bit of news is that BUSA has no sponsor. Although they still carry the Halifax logo, they are no longer sponsored by them, so are looking for a sponsor at the moment.

BUSA is mainly concerned with the domestic competitions so that gets most of the funding. It is just unfortunate that the international events, where we get most of our recognition is not funded very well.

Only 3 archers were funded this year as there are 12 world champs in total this year, 3 of which (including archery) are in the far east. The other two are golf and triathlon. Apparently golf won 8 medals last time and triathlon won a gold - we are obviously competing with them for money and they got more than us. The split of money is decided by a finance committee made up of volunteers who are uni staff and students. BUSA staff do sit in on the meetings and have opinions although it is the committee apparently that makes the decisions. This year, no team has been funded in full as there is not enough money. The UK is hosting the FISU rowing champs and(against BUSA policy) we are not funding a full team for that, though the amateur rowing association is going to make up the shortfall.

As for self funding, apparently it has never been allowed. In the past people have been funded by their county or regional bodies or universities. After talks with the GNAS Chief exec it was decided that only those archers who are centrally funded would be allowed to go in addition to those BUSA funded places. This means that next year, Naomi gets a trip abroad no matter what. The reason they have done this is to avoid getting into a situation where a reserve canít afford to go and they take the second choice reserve who can afford to go.

As for managers, BUSA would always send a manager with a team no matter what itís size. The coach is funded by GNAS so is in effect a freebee. The reason both are going and not just a coach who could also manage (which ainít that tricky) is because a manger was appointed before the coach was agreed on and GNAS couldnít suggest someone who could do both (no offence to John, but Iím sure Ken could manage).

I also pointed out that at the last two FISU champs we were the only team who didnít go out with a proper team kit which was frankly quite embarrassing, especially when other teams didnít want to swap shirts or anything afterwards. If BUSA provided us with a kit, they would send fewer archers. Bloody expensive kit if you ask me!

On the subject of the world student games next year, Mark thinks that itís highly unlikely that BUSA will send a team of more than 3. First BUSA need to find a sponsor.

I also asked about all the money that BUSA makes from the BUSA champs. As suspected, the money goes into a big pot and is then divided between the sports. This means that the money BUSA raise from the archery champs is used to sponsor footy etc (and the FISU rowing champs).

Mark has said that if anyone has any ideas for BUSA sponsors or other ways to raise money then let him know. Heíd like more money to send more people abroad.

Hopefully this clears up some questions that have been floating around for a few years. You may as well pass this on to anyone who may be hoping to compete next year or any other students/coaches who have been wondering what's been going on.

David [Spinner]

World Uni Archery Champs team announced

Firstly congratulations to Messers Mundon, Bingham and Wilkins for earning selection to this team. Everyone expected a team of three gents compounds as BUSA are only going to fund three places to travel - a financial decision surely - one can only hope team manager John Sullivan and head coach Ken Bearman have really done their homework. It is possible that the recurve archer, James Bingham will be allowed to shoot as part of a compound team and as an individual recurve and one assumes this is true otherwise in the selection is an obvious and embarrassing blunder.

But even if it is true, in order to maximise the chances of winning a team medal, James Bingham is going to have to achieve the third highest raw scores generally and specifically at 70m. I don't have figures to hand, but I do know both Tim Keppie (Edinburgh) and Christina Clarke (Nottingham) both compound broke 1300 last summer. In particular, Keppie would be a move towards youth in a team dominated by those over 25. The non-travelling reserve is compound Dave Spinner who picked up the BUSA Indoor title this year and must have been a strong candidate to go also. James Bingham is in with a strong chacne of an individual recurve medal, but is unlikely to be an asset to a "compound" team. I'm not sure how Ken Bearman and John Sullivan are being funded, but what a gesture would it be for one of these two to forgo their jolly east in order to accommodate a third compound on the trip.

Undermining it all is BUSA HQ's decision only to fund three places. This decision makes a mockery of their commitment to top level British university archery.

Heriot-Watt win SUSF outdoor

Heriot-Watt clinched their first title with a 30 point victory over hosts and rivals Edinburgh. Led by the magnificent Derek Burrough and Ros Bowen, Edinburgh eventually had no answer to a devastating seventh dozen. Up to that point the pair had been neck and neck, with guests York in close attendance. A small field saw Jenny Thompson (St Andrews) beat Ros into 2nd with 880 whilst Claudine Jennings (Edinburgh) was 3rd. Derek Burrough won the gents (with 847) by 27 points, despite three misses. Stuart Dunlop (Napier) was 2nd and Matt Nowicki (Edinburgh) narrowly pipped SUSF Indoor Gents champion Richard Nicol (St. Andrews) in the last dozen for 3rd. Philippa Ascough (Edinburgh) was the only Ladies Compound and finished on 902, whilst Tim Mundon (Edinburgh) was first out of three Gents Compound with a new SUSF record of 950 (=11 reds) despite an opening dozen of 98 (=5 reds).

Congratulations to Heriot-Watt. A championship victory is long overdue for Edinburgh's "other" team. On a day when conditions were good but far from perfect Derek Burrough and Ros Bowen combined to move Heriot-Watt decisively ahead of Edinburgh in the seventh dozen. The team spirit mentioned by Chris Cooke in his interview was evident in the team's reaction to the result. There have rarely been more deserving winners. Concerningly with a combined field of under 50, outwith Heriot-Watt, Edinburgh and guests York, only St. Andrews fielded a full team of 4, finishing distantly in 4th.

Cambridge retain BUSA Indoor title

Full results on BUSA Results Page.

St Andrews clinch maiden Championship victory

St Andrews (2169) won SUSF Indoor Championships on Saturday, held in Heriot-Watt, edging defending champions Edinburgh (2157) into 2nd and hosts Heriot-Watt (2152) into 3rd. Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt and guests York shot in the morning, with the rest of the field in the afternoon.

Led by the performances of Richard Nicol (1st Gent 557) and Jenny Thompson (2nd Lady 554) St Andrews came home 12 points clear to be crowned SUSF Indoor Champions for the first time. Next weekend, they must beat Aberdeen and Strathclyde (or come second with more then 2254) to win the SUSF League title as well. This has been quite a season for St Andrews but whereas their SUSF League victories looked a little fortunate, this victory was not. Speaking afterwards, the new SUSF Gents Champion, Richard Nicol, expressed surprise at his win and played down his chances at BUSA Champs in a fortnight, but did agree that this score puts St Andrews amongst the serious contenders for the team trophy. With no scores above 560, they may struggle to win the gold itself, but with only one recurve 560 in the whole competition (Claudine Jennings, Edinburgh, 1st Lady 560), English Unis appear strong favourites for the home nations trophy.

Elsewhere Ian Williams (Aberdeen) finished 2nd gent with 550 and Derek Burrough (Heriot-Watt) 3rd with 544. Matt Nowicki (Edinburgh) cost himself a medal by recording a miss and a 6 in his first dozen to finish on 536. Napier (Stuart Dunlop) finished 7th team by beating Strathclyde to record their (his) first ever team victory for which he was awarded (quite literally) a "Club" biscuit. For the novices James Lowry of Dundee shot a magnificent 529 for 1st combined novice, but it was not enough to stop the Edinburgh novice team who won with 1443 from Heriot-Watt (1336) in 2nd and Robert Gordon's (1281) who have had a indoor season in 3rd.

Edinburgh's compounds, having just won the British Champs Team trophy and beaten their own Alumni into 2nd place, dominated the compound section by being nearly all of the field. Tim Mundon won the gents section and was a class above, with a new club and SUSF record of 581, but still saw much room for improvement by the BUSA Champs. Lucy Spackman, fresh from her individual 4th place (SF) at the British, won with 566 - 1 point off the Edinburgh club record she jointly holds. The compound medals will be distributed later after John Sullivan left them at home.

Heriot-Watt University are to be congratulated on a professional looking and an almost flawlessly run shoot. The hall was even warm as well. The only black spot for them was the pass through, scored as a miss, shot by recurve Roz Bowen (Heriot-Watt, 3rd Lady 542), when a 6 would have lifted Heriot-Watt to 2nd team. This was very hard luck, although if the faces are unmarked it might be difficult to persuade a judge that it was a genuine pass-through, without witnesses. But what if nobody was really watching... I personally don't think a miss for a pass through is a very good rule, but whatever convention we decide to adopt it should be 1) in line with GNAS/FITA and 2) clear.

When I said this was going to be one of the closest BUSA Indoor Champs in ages it looks as though I might be more right than I thought. When I said St Andrews were unlikely to be serious challengers it looks as though I might be quite wrong. I don't mind eating this bit of humble pie because St Andrews have obviously worked hard and in tandem and are enjoying every minute of their success. They have transformed themselves from 2100 also rans to SUSF winners, scoring well over 2150, catapaulting themselves into contention. Heriot-Watt must be rueing not catching Edinburgh whilst they are weak, but even if Roz's pass through had been allowed to count they would still have been 7 points adrift of St Andrews - still the quest to bring team gold to Riccarton continues. Edinburgh themselves look in disarray and need to score much more heavily to be successful. It would be very foolish, however, to write them off completely, but the top English universities must be very relieved to see such signs of weakness.

St Andrews defeat Edinburgh by 1 point. The Daddy of Upsets. - 11/Feb/02

It had to happen someday. On Saturday, Edinburgh's Scottish hegemony was brought to and end by St Andrews by 1 point in a SUSF League match. After having already beaten Heriot-Watt, St Andrews looked poised to seal a first ever SUSF League title in the closest SUSF League race ever.

Are St Andrew's now the strongest university in Scotland. Well probably not. Scores of just over 2100 are unlikely to win either SUSF or BUSA Indoor Champs but are fairly typical of St Andrews of the last few years. Heriot-Watt were without Derek Burrough and Roz Bowen and Edinburgh were without Atle Wold, Francis O'Neill, Glyn Ball and Jill Rennie. St Andrews have taken full advantage of those opportunites presented to them and can feel justifiably pleased to be SUSF League leaders and now strong favourites.

The penalty for not taking competant oppostion seriously enough, has been defeat and turned the Edinburgh derby effectively into a scramble for second place. In my interview with Atle Wold (recorded before this result and appearing here asap) he said that history was weighing down uncomfortably on this generation of Edinburgh students and that he felt there was an attitude of avoiding defeat rather than winning through good arrows and that certainly looked to be the case in this match.

What must be more concerning was that Edinburgh fielded no novices in thier home SUSF league match - something almost as unprecedented as the result itself. All universities completely turn over their squad in 4 years so to be competitive, a university must teach its novices properly and quickly. No undergraduate gent, who has begun archery at Edinburgh University has shot a 560 recurve Portsmouth since about 1996 (from memory only, but I'm pretty sure that's right). Edinburgh lost this league match because a patched-up team shot poorly on the day. Edinburgh might lose again because they are not developing good novices into good seniors with enough regularity, despite their superior practice facilities.

In retrospect, this defeat may be the making of this generation of Edinburgh archers. If they can respond positively and aggressively then Edinburgh could recapture their dominance of the mid to late 90's. If not, then we could be in for some fundamental changes in the balance of power. Either way, this promises to be the most open BUSA indoors in some time.

On other matters, I used the computersied scoring system, written by Tim Mundon and used successfully at BUSA Outdoors last year. Only one glitch all afternoon and that was cleared up quickly. Also Tim shot 575 on a FITA 3 spot, just for a laugh parallel with the league match.

SUSF upsets continue - 01/Dec/01

RGU followed up their win over Strathclyde with one over Dundee, coming second to Aberdeen. This means, going into the Christmas break RGU top the SUSF league table. It also, surprisingly, sets up Dundee v. Strathclyde as the wooden spoon match. All credit must go to RGU for these performance, buoyed up by 3rd place team at SUSF Outdoor Champs last year.

At the other end of the table, events have taken an equally unexpected turn with St Andrews overturning a below strength Heriot-Watt side. The outcome of this low scoring encounter almost certainly hands the league crown to Edinburgh. Behind the perennial pace-setters however, we await some very interesting matches in the new year.

Thailand and other stories - 20/Nov/01

On the 9th of November, the decision about whether or not to fund the sending of an archery team full or otherwise was resolved emphatically as follows:

"No decision was made, the committee has set up a working party with a decision to be made by the end of next week."

Ahem. This is a slightly more serious oversight than failing to get entry forms out on time. Even this information took its time to come to light. (I read it on the Edinburgh message board.) This is simply not up to scratch. With the games themselves only 7 months away, a working party has been set up to decide whether we should bother with archery at these games. When can we expect this decision? By the end of this week. Where is that decision?

I belong to Glasgow - 20/Nov/01

What does the first result of the SUSF calendar tell us about the relative strength of those involved. Significantly understrength, Edinburgh still won at a canter but they know a similar performance against Heriot-Watt, or even Aberdeen could spell a first defeat in 14 years. Robert Gordon's meanwhile are to be lauded on the first ever league win (I think). RGU have been the whipping boys for too long and have quite often not even bothered sending a full team to matches. Here however, they clearly decided they could beat Strathclyde and took as many people as possible to do so.

Whither Strathclyde however? When I started as a novice (1998) Strathclyde were Scotland's "third force", but have declined steadily since. Scores from David Wilson and Euan McGill kept them afloat last year but with these two gone and not replaced, scores have plummeted. The coaching structure appears to have failed on a grand scale and should Glasgow (or Glasgow Caley) Uni do form a archery club, they may well find themselves derby winners immediately. A strange table indeed then with the 2 Glasgow clubs at the bottom.

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