ARCHERY: Abbie targeting another title

Abbie Hood: Spinks after her 'Robin Hood' shot
Abbie Hood: Spinks after her 'Robin Hood' shot

ONE year after bursting onto the archery scene, Abbie Spinks is back to defend her Junior National Outdoor Championship title this weekend.

The teenage ace, who is a member of Spalding-based Silver Spoon Bowmen, makes the trip to the Lilleshall National Sports Centre tomorrow as she bids to make it back-to-back wins.

Also holder of the Junior National Indoor Championship, Abbie’s stock has risen through the roof over the past year after a string of record-breaking displays.

But her dad Symon Spinks has warned his daughter that her rivals will be out to deny her a third national gong in Shropshire.

He said: “It’ll be a tall order for Abbie to retain her crown. It’s strange to say but winning the first one is the easy bit.

“Now everyone will be trying to beat her, but I’m sure she’s up to the challenge.”

Just 12 months ago Abbie smashed two county and club records (Metric 4 and Junior Western) en route to her title.

The Spalding High School pupil has been in great form in recent weeks too.

Last weekend Abbie was victorious at an inter-county event in Washingborough, in what was the perfect warm-up for her title defence.

But the week before, she added another string to her bow by making a one-in-a-million ‘Robin Hood’ shot at Boston.

During the competition – which saw the Silver Spoon Bowmen crowned Lincolnshire county champions – her opponent shot a near-perfect bullseye, landing her arrow very near to dead centre of the target.

Her joy was short-lived though, as Abbie’s shot not only split her opponents’ arrow, but actually hit it so true that it embedded itself down inside the full length of that of her opponent.

The 13-year-old Spalding ace went on to win the junior lady compound award and was presented with the iconic arrow after the competition.

A stunned Abbie said: “I knew that I had probably shot a so called Robin Hood because of the irregular sound it made on impact.

“But when myself and the judges saw what I had achieved they couldn’t believe how absolutely true and spot on it must have hit.”

Having only taken up the sport just over two years ago, Abbie’s rise to stardom is nothing short of remarkable.

She was diagnosed with severe eyesight problems at the age of five, but has aced every obstacle put in her path ever since – and now the sky would appear to be her limit.