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Young archer from Minehead aims for Rio
A YOUNG archer from Minehead is being tipped as a potential Olympic hopeful for the 2016 Games in Rio.
Jaibez Macriner, 16, was selected to attend Archery GB’s Academy at Lilleshall National Sports Centre, in Shropshire, where he travels to one weekend a month for an intense training session.
He first picked up a bow and arrow four years ago when he joined the West Somerset Company of Archers with his grandfather, Ron Newbold, who has been a constant source of support for him.
Being dyslexic, Jaibez struggled slightly at school, but gained confidence as soon as he started the sport.
Jaibez said: “I am really happy at the academy because it’s allowing me to move forward with my archery.
“We train from early in the morning until late at night, shooting and exercising, but I really enjoy it all.
“I knew I loved archery from the beginning.”
Grandfather and fellow archer Ron Newbold said: “He took to it so well, he really had a flair for it.
“It’s not impossible that he will shoot at Rio but he has a tremendous amount of work to do.”
Jaibez has also received support outside of the family, with 1610 giving him free membership for the gym at West Somerset Sports and Leisure Centre.
To remain competitive and keep progressing, archers need to upgrade their specialist equipment every year, which can cost up to £3,000.
Jim Wiles, secretary and lead coach at the West Somerset Company of Archers, said: “The club and other bodies have funded him – we have helped him where we can but it is not cheap and we are limited.
“We were all delighted when he was selected for the academy and the club is very much behind him.
“He has the right kind of attitude – if something is not going right for him, he will work hard to rectify it, which is what sets him apart from other children.
“It is possible that we could see him shooting in Rio, but there is a long time to go before then and we will just have to wait and see.”
Jaibez has been given financial assistance from the Team Somerset 500 Club and Sports Aid UK, but is always in need of extra support.
Any individual or business able to help can contact Ron Newbold via firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01984-640184.