Amy - the steely gaze of a champion in waiting

Fosdyke archery international Amy Gott (14) outside Thomas Cowley High School, Donington.
Fosdyke archery international Amy Gott (14) outside Thomas Cowley High School, Donington.

Fosdyke archery talent Amy Gott (14) is the ninth young sporting prospect to be featured in this series for the Guardian since its launch in January.

But unlike the others, except for world under 20 triathlon champion Charlotte Taylor and world champion kickboxer Jack Bristowe, Gott is crystal clear in what is driving her to the top of her sport.

Amy Gott takes aim while practicing in Fosdyke.

Amy Gott takes aim while practicing in Fosdyke.

Gott said: “My main goal is to be world champion and then Olympic champion.

“At the beginning of the year, I set my goal to be shooting for Team GB by the time I was 17, but it’s happening earlier than I anticipated.

“No one was expecting me to do this well so quickly and they wanted me to do as well as I am now when I became 16.

“But I’m proud of my achievements over the last three years and having achieved my goals so far, I’m now setting my sights on doing well at future Olympics.”

Next week, Gott makes her debut for the British team at the Moscow Grand Prix archery event.

The teenager will be taking on archers between a year and four years older than her after a successful selection shoot at Lilleshall National Sports Centre, Shropshire, just before Easter.

Gott said: “I’ll be happy to get in the top 30 to 35 but I’ll keep the same frame of mind as I have now because archery is really exciting and much more different to any other sport I’ve done before.”

Gott’s parents, Martin and Wendy, could never have imagined the future consequences of taking their daughter to an after-school archery club at Sutterton Fourfields Primary School, near Boston, just four years ago.

“I wasn’t really too fond of archery to start with, but I got into it and became quite good at the sport,” Gott said.

“I’d done a little bit of watersports, water skiing and wakeboarding (similar to water skiing) with my dad.

“But from the after-school club, I started at an archery club in Spalding where my coach started putting me in for competitions to see how I’d get on.

“I was the only girl of my age doing it and then I started shooting for Lincolnshire, becoming county champion three years running.”

Gott has blossomed under the coaching of Barry Molsom at Silver Spoon Bowmen of Spalding Archery Club, based at the town’s Sir John Gleed School.

Molsom said: “Amy is a very unassuming young lady who is very, very dedicated and focused on what she does.

“She’s very thoughtful, very competitive and quite inquisitive, wanting to know why she should be doing things in terms of technique.

“But Amy doesn’t brag about things, she tries to do everything as perfect as she can and she’ll think about things, go away and come back as someone who is beginning to master things.

“Amy shoots virtually every night and has numerous records at club, county and regional level.

“But her biggest success so far is being selected by Tean GB after a selection shoot where she really showed her potential.

“There’s still a lot of experience for her to get and she needs the right coaching, a lot of luck and to get in the right tournaments.

“But Amy has already achieved a lot with her selection for Archery GB’s performance academy where there are pathways upwards and forwards to be an Olympian.”

Last July, Gott fell just short in becoming junior national champion after a see-saw final against her contemporaries, including friendly rival Lizzie Warner from Leicestershire.

The lead changed hands five times but Gott had the chance to make a statement of intent months later when she finished three places ahead of Warner at the Team GB selection shoot in April.

Gott said: “I get on well with all the people I train with and with my rivals.

“It’s friendly competition and it’s fun at the moment, but I don’t have much of a social life because I shoot at least five days a week and between 100 and 200 arrows a night.

“I also do lots of different training sessions, including press-ups, circuit training and weight training because you need to be quite powerful to shoot with the arrows.

“You also need to be confident and if I continue to be in the British team, they will try to make me eat a bit more protein and do a lot more exercises and practice so I can get better, stronger and improve my technique.”

But no succesful young athlete can do without the support provided by parents and Gott is no exception.

Molsom said: “Amy’s parents have been absolute bricks and have supported her from the beginning by taking their daughter to shoots and coaching sessions.

“Martin and Wendy are as dedicated as Amy is and they sum up the fact the Silver Spoon Bowmen of Spalding has always been a family club.”

Amy Gott, world and Olympic archery gold medallist – you read it here first.