December 10 2013 Latest news:
Safira Ali, Senior reporter
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Rhiannon Easton was four years old when she first went to watch her granddad Laurence practice archery in Noak Hill.
Little did Laurence know that from watching him compete that the youngster would soon take up archery and be smashing records herself.
The determined youngster took her time learning the rules of the sport before picking up a bow at the age of six. Two years later she had smashed the record for the Essex County for competitors under 12.
Now aged 10, Rhiannon has continued to break records and impresses judges who have said she should aim for the Olympics – an ambition Rhiannon said she is working towards for when she turns 16.
Rhiannon said: “I would love to compete in the Olympics in the future; It is my dream.
“I am enjoying it very much and like meeting new people while I am doing it. I like shooting the arrows and trying to get my technique right.
“It is difficult and the hardest part is trying to reach the distance. I am doing 30 yards at the moment, but I am working towards 40 yards.”
She added: “It is a dangerous sport if you don’t stick to the rules and if you run out in front of the arrows.”
Laurence said Rhiannon had picked up the sport quickly and was now a natural, “It started years ago when I used to look after my grandchildren. I used to take Rhiannon with me when I went to the archery club, Noak Hill Archers.
“She was about three or four-years-old and we used to go once a week. She would watch me play and I would teach her the safety side of it.”
He said when she first tried it, “the bow was a bit big for her and like anybody else she needed a bit of practice.
“But the good thing was that she picked up the safety rules quickly and that she couldn’t wander around while people were shooting.”
Rhiannon quickly learnt how to shoot arrows and took part in her first competition, the Essex County Championships, when she was eight.
She surprised her family by breaking a record that had not been broken for 10 years for her under 12 category.
Laurence said: “She improved quite considerably and still enjoys it. She can even attract a small group of people every time she plays because they are amazed at how good she is from a young age.”
He added: “I think she’s quite capable of going to the Olympics. We have held off from her training too much as it is a big commitment and we only want her to do it if she wants to. But this week she was asked to join the Essex County Archery Association to be part of their team, which is a great boost.”
Her dad Daniel Easton, 33, of Darlington Gardens, Harold Hill, said: “I think she has done remarkably well and is determined within herself, which is a good quality needed for this sport.
“It takes a lot of patience and discipline to be able to do it, and she has possessed these qualities from a young age.
“And to smash the records is phenomenal.
“She is still continuing to set new records and is beating her personal best in recent competitions too, which shows she is improving all the time.”
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