The Paralympian archer Shaun Anderson’ passion has led to him convincing more disabled people to take up the sport he can’t stop talking about.
This Saturday 12 disabled archers will compete in the local Tuks Jan&Lala Competition and he will be there not only to participate, but also to welcome a few newcomers.
For quite a few it is going to be the first time that they will seriously try and hit the bull on a target. Anderson said he is not sure when last so many of them got to compete alongside each other.
He is especially excited that his friend, Erik Schipper, is competing. The 57-year-old from a well-known cheese farm near Pretoria broke his neck (C6 and C7 vertebrae) last year in a freak mountain bike accident which left him paralysed from the neck down.
Anderson was involved in a motorboat accident in 2017 which left him paralysed from the waist down. It was not Anderson’s first serious setback. He has lost his left arm in a motorbike accident.
According to Anderson, he met Schipper during their rehabilitation workouts. As expected, the Tuks sports personality of the year could not resist talking about the thrills of his sport. He must have made some convincing arguments as Schipper decided to give it go. Actually, it should not be a surprise as Schipper is never one to shy away from a challenge.
And a challenge it is going to be, because of his disability the bow will be strapped to Schipper’s hands. A unique trigger mechanism has been developed which will enable Schipper to release the arrow with his ear.
“What is going to be the most amazing about Saturday’s competition is that all of us who are competing are proving that no setback is insurmountable with the right mindset. I think I speak for all of us if I say we want to continue living life to its fullest,” said Anderson.
The Tuks archer is of the opinion that there is a real revival in Paralympian archery.
“I am prepared to stick out my neck and predict that at least three of us will qualify to compete at the 2020 Paralympian Games in Tokyo,” he said.
Anderson is equally excited about the Tuks Archery Development Program. In September the club invited 12 kids from Mamelodi to get an idea of what archery is about. The next phase is that at the end of the month the best of them will get to travel to Johannesburg to compete against like-minded aspiring archers.
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