Two Banbridge girls are hoping to bag more international success for Ballyvally Archery Club this week.
Rebecca Lennon and 14 year-old Aimee Convery are off to America after getting the call-up to the Great Britain side for the World Archery Youth Championships in Yankton.
For Aimee, it’s another step into unknown territory in her budding career.
“I’m a wee bit nervous about it but I feel good,” she said. “It will be the biggest competition I have ever shot in. I just want to go and do my best and see where that gets me.”
Daughter of NI junior team manager and Ballyvally member Damien, Rebecca Lennon, meanwhile, is no stranger to the world stage.
She even returned from the same Championships with a bronze team medal in the Cadet Compound competition in 2013.
Aimee will be hoping to avail of Rebecca’s experience and advice, boosts she also gets from her proud dad, coach and international archer all rolled into one Alan.
“I’ve been coaching Aimee since she took up the sport at just four years old,” he said, “although it took her a few years to realise that she should listen to her dad!
“Aimee has won several British, Irish and Northern Irish competitions and decided to go over to England to try and qualify for this team. She had to get the numbers to be invited to shoot at the event and then got the third place she needed to make it into the team.”
The girls have three chances for medals in Yankton, through the singles, team and mixed events.
The action begins today (Tuesday) and climaxes on Sunday, when the girls are hoping they’ll be taking centre stage.
In order to do that in the singles, they’ll have to make it through the 72 arrow qualification rounds and into the knock-out stages. They’ll also have the team score to think about while the team’s top girl will join the top boy to represent Great Britain in the mixed.
Rebecca will again be competing in the Compound Cadets class with Aimee in the Recurve Cadets making her debut at this level.
“Since Aimee was about six, she has been winning the NI Championships for her age in both field and target archery,” said dad Alan. “Then she won the British Indoor Championships, which was a big deal for her.
“Last year, she won the National Series so she has been climbing up the ladder.
“She has been working very hard for this tournament. The last few weeks she has been shooting up to 1,000 arrows a week to get ready for this.“
Whatever happens across the pond, the girls are the latest stars to come out of Ballyvally Archery Club with the world at their feet.