World number one and Olympic medal winning Paralympian visits Shrewsbury College

Shrewsbury College hosted a special VIP visit from multi award winning British Paralympian archer and world number one (2014), Mel Clarke.

Students and staff from across Shrewsbury College and Severndale Specialist Academy were lucky enough to meet with Mel at the College yesterday and take part in a Q & A and an archery master class.

During her distinguished career, Mel has won National, European and World Championships and holds many world records for archery. At the London 2012 Olympics, Mel won the silver medal for the Women’s individual compound.

The visit was arranged by the College’s newly appointed Sports Maker, Ethan Tolhurst, as part of a project to raise sport awareness.

Ethan primarily focuses on introducing new sport activities to the enrichment programme, which takes place at the College every Wednesday and is open to all students. He said: “It’s important for us to encourage our students to stretch and challenge themselves and to experience new things. Having the chance to try out sports they have not previously done or would not have thought to do, is a big part of our enrichment ethos.

“I came across this project via the Sporting Champions website. It’s a Sport England initiative that brings world-class athletes face-to-face with young people and young adults to inspire and motivate them to take up and continue playing sport.

“Having Mel here has been a fantastic opportunity for the students, and staff, to meet with an extremely talented and accomplished athlete. We would like to thank Mel for taking the time to come along and we hope that the afternoon has inspired the students to try out archery. I think I speak for everyone who attended when I say the afternoon was a lot of fun and great success.”

During the session, Mel said: “It’s been really good fun meeting everyone at the college. For a lot of the students it was their first time having a go at archery, so it was good to see them all try out something new and everyone got the chance to have a go.

“Taking part in sport is a great way to build confidence, so I think it’s important for young people to give it a go. Archery is definitely a growing sport. Since London 2012 and the heightened existence of it in the media and in films like Hunger Games we’ve seen a lot more people take it up, which is fantastic.”

Mel hopes to compete in Rio 2016 and complete her trio of medals by winning Paralympic gold.

For more information on Sport courses at Shrewsbury College, please call 01743 342411 or click here. Alternatively you can pop in to the next Advice Event tonight (Thursday 19 March) from 5 – 7pm at London Road.

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