In a list of bad starts to a World Championships campaign, Rebecca Lennon and Aimee Convery’s weekend must rank quite highly.
Boarding the plane from Belfast to Heathrow on Friday to join up with the rest of the Great Britain squad for the World Archery Youth Championships, the Ballyvally archers weren’t to know they had seen the last of their expensive equipment.
After their first flight had been delayed, the bows didn’t make it for the connection flight to America.
“When (Aimee) arrived in Yankton, it was discovered that the airline had lost her TWO archery bows with equipment worth in the region of £6,000 not to mention her suitcase with ALL of her clothes in it,” said Aimee’s proud cousin David Holt on Facebook on Monday.
“She still hasn’t received anything! With the shooting starting tomorrow she is having to borrow a bow that she has never shot with!!!”
It’s not just bows that the girls have had to get a lend of either.
“My bow and my clothes are gone. Just completely lost somewhere,” Aimee’s team-mate Rebecca told worldarchery.org. “It’s been pretty stressful.
“I’m wearing clothes from the rest of the team. My shooting shirt is the only thing I own right now! My shorts are really Simon’s, these are Kirsten’s shoes and the socks are from Walmart!”
Thankfully, Rebecca benefitted from the kindness of Croatian competitor and current bronze medalist Maja Orlic, who offered up her own spare bow. Rebecca has taken to it so well that, even if her own does happen to make its way to the tournament, it might not leave the case.
“You know, I might just keep going with what I have because it’s going well and I don’t really want to change back,” she said.
Keep an eye on our website at lunch-time to see a full build-up to the tournament. You can also watch a live stream of the tournament to see how the girls get on with their borrowed gear at www.worldarchery.org.