Big trip for string quartet
John McBain, Graham Bultitude, Earl Coughran and Sam D’Aprile will pack their weapons of choice and their quivers and head south with hopes of fun and glory at one of the biggest sporting events on the planet.
Almost 30,000 participants are heading to Sydney to contest the eight-day event in 28 sports across 72 venues. The four local archers will be competing at the Homebush site of Simon Fairweather’s gold medal triumph during the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
McBain, of Mooball, who will contest the Over-50s recurve category, said he would use the trip as a bit of fun and a bit of work.
A photographer by profession, the 55-year-old lost his leg after being run over while taking shots of a Brisbane socialite in 1997 but it hasn’t slowed him down.
Indeed, McBain hopes to capture a few shots of Princess Mary and Prince Frederick of Denmark, who will contest the sailing.
Bultitude, of Lismore, said he started archery when Noah built the ark. He will shoot in the compound bow Over-70s and is rated the best chance of the Lismore-based Great Eastland Archers of winning a medal.
The 71-year-old holds a multitude of State records and has contested a World Masters Games before where he won a bronze medal.
While the other three competitors will drive down, Bultitude will ride his 1200cc Kawasaki sports tourer motorcycle to Sydney.
Coughran, of Casino, got into target shooting with rifles while he was in the army, but it affected his hearing so he switched to archery.
That was 40 years ago and he will contest the same category as Bultitude in Sydney.
D’Aprile, of Nimbin, will compete in the Over-50s longbow.
D’Aprile makes his own arrows out of cedar and intends fashioning his own longbow eventually.
He enjoys using a longbow because it’s a style of archery which uses more instinct, free of modern devices such as release aids and shooting sights.
Asked what makes archery special, Bultitude said it was a sport that anyone at any age could do.
“You need concentration and dedication; 95 per cent concentration and the rest depends on how keen you are,” he said.
You also need strength and endurance. With a typical target contest including 144 shots a day, an upper body that can deal with the continual strain of controlling the string also comes in handy.