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Carl gets ready to go for gold at the Invictus Games

Carl HardingFormer RAF Regiment serviceman Carl Harding will be competing in the Invictus Games in the archery competition. Carl, who has been supported by the Fund, tells us more in this guest blog.

I joined the RAF Regiment in 1985, so long ago! I served on squadrons, stations and with the UN as a military observer in Sarajevo, Bosnia.

I started archery a few years ago and I tried to master a recurve bow. It didn't go so well and I finally succumbed to a compound bow in October 2013.

When I heard about the Invictus Games I thought it would be a great opportunity to get some coaching on my new bow and get a chance to get selected for the British team. To be honest I didn't think I would get in.

After many months of training it's now the final run up to the Games and the pressure is mounting. We have a great team but archery is an individual performance sport.

I am trying to work on my weak points; I mainly take up to 12 arrows to settle down and warm up in a competition. But if I do this then it could be harder for me to achieve a good result; it must be 10s and 9s from the start. My other weak point is that with a compound bow I have a hand trigger release aid.

Sometimes this release goes well but if I concentrate on it too much I snatch the trigger and I can get no score at all.

I have a personal best but I also have my personal worse. So as the Games gets nearer, I intend to master my weak points, not get bogged down in over complication and go for gold.

By Carl Harding

Watch a Forces TV interview with Carl.


Carl won a gold medal in the Archery.


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