A cool head and steady hand has seen vet nurse Aimee Deaves of the Animal Referral Hospital in Brisbane, QLD, compete worldwide in archery competitions.
“There are moments in archery when you feel like you’re on cloud nine and can’t put a foot wrong. It happened to me when I was at an international competition in Turkey and shooting against a German girl. She had the whole German team behind her while I was on my own—the Aussie team was off competing elsewhere.
“We were neck and neck the entire time and it came down to a one-arrow shoot-off. This is a very rare, high-pressure situation. I could see her team willing her on and I was all on my own. But it didn’t matter—I knew I was going to nail it. I knew my arrow would hit the middle of the target and I would beat her. And that’s how it happened. I visualised it in my mind and I couldn’t have done anything better. I love those moments!
“When I was a kid, I was very passionate about horseriding. However, that all came to an end when I had a bad fall at age 14 and broke my back. Once I had mended, I discovered archery at a school camp and found I had a natural flair for it. I joined a local club and one day a week practice turned into two days a week, and then three days a week, and then I was shooting every day.
“I soon entered my first competition and totally bombed. This spurred me on to practise even harder. A few months later I was in a state indoor championship and came third. I entered more competitions, improved my skills and started winning medals. It was addictive.
“I’ve won a bronze medal at the Australian Open and a few gold medals at the National Championships as well. However, my proudest accomplishment has nothing to do with medals. There are two types of bows used in competition—a recurve bow that’s used in the Olympics and a compound bow used in the Commonwealth Games. I am one of the few people in Australia who has competed at an international level using both types of bows.
“To be a good archer, you need dedication and resilience. Basically, you need to set a goal, know what’s needed to achieve it and be willing to go the distance. Thanks to archery, I’ve travelled to the USA, China, Poland, Turkey, Taiwan, Serbia and many other places. I even met my husband through archery. I love every part of the sport and can’t wait until I’m back in the zone, getting ready to do it all again.”