AN ARCHER who now competes for Great Britain was first inspired to pick up a bow and arrow during a trip to Warwick Castle.
Emilia Hughes tried the ‘have a go archery’ at the Warwickshire-based tourist attraction back in 2017 after witnessing the resident bowman show off their skills.
At the time she was just 11.
But from then on she was inspired to take up archery and has done so successfully, to the point that at the age of 16, she now competes internationally for team GB.
Most recently, she competed at the European Youth Cup in Bucharest and the European Youth Archery Championships, which took place on home soil at Lilleshall.
As a member of the Archery GB squad, she has already experienced sporting success, most recently becoming the Junior National Outdoor U18 champion. And 2021 was a particularly successful year, with wins in the Junior Masters and National Indoor Championships at U18 level.
When Emelia was 11 she discovered she had a medical condition with both knees that has resulted in multiple dislocations and knee reconstruction on one knee so far. She was told not to play any contact sport and so archery was the perfect way to be able to continue with an activity and she has channelled all her energy into it.
And Emelia isn’t the only one to be inspired by a visit to the castle. Nine-year-old Faith Campbell also found inspiration when watching the castle’s Wars of the Roses Live.
An avid rider from the age of two, the youngster, who is based just outside Gloucester, also does gymnastics. After seeing the daredevil horse riding tricks performed in the jousting stunt show, Faith realised she could combine both her hobbies and bugged her parents for a trick riding lesson.
As soon as she tried it she loved it and now her dream is to follow in the footsteps of the Knight’s of Medieval England (KOME) female stunt riders.
Now part of KOME’s riding school, she has a private lesson each month as well as riding three to four times a week and doing gymnastics twice a week.
She hopes that within the year she will have a trick riding saddle and possibly a pony that is safe enough for her to throw herself upside down and do more adventurous tricks.