|3rd Jan 2023
|Dervla Ryan (President)
Last December, the UL Archery Club embarked on their very first International Trip! We wrapped up warm, bow and arrow in hand, and flew to Berlin on Thursday, December 15th. Luckily, we had a fellow German on the team to help us figure out the train system and we arrived at the open training session for 10:30 am. We grabbed our jerseys and entered the shooting arena bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. The atmosphere was buzzing and we were surrounded by the world's top archers.
Qualifications began at 17:00 and we shot on tri-spots (a new challenge for our barebows!). Even though we were full of nerves and excitement, it didn't deter us at all. Everyone performed to the best of their ability and did amazing. We replenished ourselves with currywurst that evening and headed to bed, resting up for the next day of shooting.
On Saturday, qualifications took place for the next round of archers. We got there early and shot alongside them. This was a great opportunity to watch and learn, as well as befriend archers from team GB and Germany. During breaks, they coached us and suggested new methods. It gave us the motivation we needed for the second-chance session that we were all doing Sunday.
Sunday was the last session where we competed against one another. The target was arranged like a flower, making it very difficult to hit. Sadly, none of us qualified for the semi-finals. We watched the qualifying athletes, eager to learn how it is done. The finals were set up like a vegas show, with flashing lights and loud music. Our team barely left our seats out of fear of missing anything. After the award ceremony, we got out our wolves flag and took out the final group photo together, before heading off to dinner with other Irish archers.
Our team slept on every train, plane, and bus on Monday. We all got home safely, tired and eager to get back to training next month to pass on our new skills to our advanced archers.
We are hoping to attend the 2023 Berlin Open next year with even more budding archers. We are so excited to finally be a part of something bigger. See you next year, Berlin!
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