Young Sleaford archer gets England shot

Jacob Boden will shoot for England next month EMN-171026-122654002
Jacob Boden will shoot for England next month EMN-171026-122654002

Young Sleaford archer Jacob Boden has been called up to shoot for England at the Junior National Indoor Championships in December.

The breakthrough was the culmination of years of dedication, hard work and some sacrifice.

Jacob with British team coach and former Olympic archer Richard Priestman EMN-171026-122643002

Jacob with British team coach and former Olympic archer Richard Priestman EMN-171026-122643002

Jacob, a pupil at St George’s Academy, took up archery after a family holiday to Center Parcs in 2010, soon joining a local club in Sleaford and working his way up the ranks.

He represented Lincolnshire the following year and gained a place on the East Midlands Archery Society Junior Training Squad.

Shortly afterwards, Jacob applied for the new Archery GB Academy and after around 18 months of trials, coaching and plenty of paperwork, gained one of the 60 places in August 2014.

“It’s not one of the common sports in schools, but my PE teachers have been amazing,” Jacob said.

“Mrs Anderson (formerly of Cranwell Primary), was always the first one on a Monday morning asking how the shooting had gone, and she still follows me.

“Mr Richardson and Mr Stainsfield have really supported me and pushed me forward within my sport and within my BTEC Sports Studies.”

The 15-year-old was nominated by Archery GB for a Backing the Best award from Sports Aid which covers the cost of monthly training at Lilleshall where he must attend for at least 16 hours a month.

It proved a vital lifeline in an expensive sport, especially after mum Rowena had to close her business due to her disability.

At Lilleshall, Jacob works with Naomi Folkard who last week won world championship bronze in Mexico.

Other support has come from London Camera Exchange who supplied Jacob with a spotting scope, while a family friend has allowed him access to his land to continue training during winter.

But there are still demands. If Jacob is asked to shoot for Great Britain then he will need a spare bow and the other equipment to go with it.

Mum Rowena said: “KG Archery, who sponsor him, have said they will help him as much as they can. With such support around him Jacob is determined to do them proud and continue to work hard.”

He is also keen to make sport more accessible to everyone and works as a Young Ambassador with the 4 All inclusion programme.

Rowena added: “I’m so proud of what he has achieved in gaining the England shirt and I’m really looking forward to supporting him at the championships.”

* If you would like to support this up-and-coming archer, visit his Facebook page Jacob Boden Archery