Mia Mcguane with archery bowI am a 17 year old female from Sittingbourne. I attend The Sittingbourne School who have been extremely supportive of my archery career over the past 5 years. I started archery when I was 12 years old by joining the after-school club named Sittingbourne Community College Archers. It was from this day that they gave me the belief to be the best I can and supported me every step of my journey.

What are your sporting achievements to date?

During the 2021 season and under the guidance of my new coach Peter Dallas I managed to achieve Junior Master Bowman status which at the time was the highest classification I could reach for my age. I was then invited to the Junior Masters event in September where I ranked higher than some existing GB archers. In October 2021 I received an invite to trial for the GB squad and was over the moon to be selected for the development squad. The first few months in GB were really fun and I learnt a lot. I learnt a lot of equipment skills and I am now able to set a bow up by myself and I know, when things go wrong, how to fix them. This has benefited me to be able to do things by myself and not rely on others to help.

In May 2022 I received funding to help buy my new bow whilst donating my old bow to the club. Using the new equipment helped me progress throughout the season. I got very comfy shooting my new bow and reached GB selection scores for under 18’s. I shot in my second Junior masters where I finished fourth just missing the podium but this made me more determined to reach the podium next year. In April 2023 I received further funding which helped hugely with the costs towards my GB European selection for the European youth cup in Switzerland which was my first international call up and I am over the moon to have finished fifth and achieved two personal best’s whilst there.

I was again selected to represent GB for the World Youth Championships in Limerick in July 2023 in which I managed a finish in the top 16. In September 2023 I was at Junior masters. I had ranked third in the qualification round and after two matches in head to heads I was in my bronze medal match and ended up finishing third overall. I was so happy as it was my first time finishing on the podium at Junior masters. I was over the moon to have been selected for these opportunities this year and the swale youth development programme has helped me through it. I am very grateful for the support they have given me in achieving my dreams and the continued journey I am currently on.

How has the FANS scheme helped you reach where you are now?

The FANS scheme has been a huge part of journey, It has helped with the huge costs that already exist for me in the sport and by getting the free use of the Gym at Swallows Leisure Centre has been a huge help. They have also recently awarded me the FANS Small Grant which is helping towards my travel and coaching costs for the GB squad.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

My sporting ambitions for archery in the next year are to get selected to go to the European indoors in Croatia and to be selected for at least one of the European games in the outdoor season. I strive to do better in the national tour stages around the UK and hopefully finish top eight where I will compete against the best in the finals. I will gain a lot of experience from these competitions and aim to challenge myself in the oncoming years to rank higher than I ever have and hopefully perform better each time I shoot. I am also intending to shoot in European indoor competitions next year like JVD Open, GT Open, Brussels and Nimes. My sporting ambitions for the next five years are to work my way up to the top of the rankings in World, Europe and in GB and to be going to multiple European and World competitions as I will gain a lot of experience and also learn a lot to carry through my career.

Update: Mia has been selected for GB for the European Indoor Championships in February 2024.

Thank you Mia for sharing your story. We wish you all the best and look forward to following your sporting journey.

If you’d like to support Mia on her journey, please visit her Crowdfunder page.