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Kesgrave archer Nicky Hunt is confident she’ll come good in time for Rio 2016 Olympics
Date: 04/07/2013

She may have gone backwards since missing out on the London 2012 Olympics, but Kesgrave archer Nicky Hunt is confident she’ll come good in time for Rio 2016.

A double gold medallist at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, the 28-year-old was left with a race against time to retrain disciplines - from compound to recurve - in order to earn a place at her home Games.

An impressive rise to number five in the world rankings in double-quick time wasn’t quite enough to make the three-woman team, but such was her progress that she was earmarked as a hot prospect for 2016 and invited along to the Olympic Village as special guest.

Team GB’s failure to land an archery medal has seen the appointment of Songi Woo as their new performance coach. The South Korean – whose own promising career was cut short by injury – took Mexico from archery obscurity to having silver and bronze medallists in London.

And already the esteemed coach has begun implementing some big changes.

"I’ve not been selected for the World Championships in Turkey at the end of September, but I don’t see that as much of a problem," said Hunt, who next weekend is cycling from Ipswich to Paris in order to raise money for the Suffolk Young Peoples’ Health Project.

"I’ve made some technical changes with our new performance coach and that creates a one step back, two steps forward situation. I’m feeling really confident that everything will start coming together as this Olympic cycle progresses."

With numerous Team GB athletes having to go back into work following the withdrawal of funding post London 2012, Hunt – who gave up her job as a physiotherapist two years ago to focus on the sport – has been able to carry on as a full-time archer.

"I’ve been very fortunate," she said. "Team GB was set a target of winning at least one archery medal at London 2012 and, because we didn’t achieve that, a lot of the elite level funding has been cut.

"The focus has instead shifted towards the development side of things and, because I wasn’t selected last year, I fall within that category. I’ve kept my UK Sport funding, as well as the backing of local businesses Movac and MSC, and that’s enabled me to carry on training full-time."

Link to article: EADT24

Olympic and Commonwealth stars on hand at Sports Village to inspire young and old alike
Date: 29/05/2013

Youngsters and adults alike defied the drizzly conditions to try their hand at a range of activities.

There were more than 30 different sports, including cricket, golf, judo, tennis, rugby, athletics and archery.

Suffolk’s very own sporting stars were also on hand to inspire people to get active, including Olympic handball star Louise Dukes, double Commonwealth gold medal archer Nicky Hunt and bronze medal winning Paralympic power lifter Zoe Newson.

There was also a "dance zone" and various demonstrations, including a parkour and gymnastics display from Felixstowe’s Escape Reality.

Olympic torch bearer Amy Linton, 19, from Bury St Edmunds, who carried the flame through Ipswich, also spent time talking to visitors.

"It’s been really nice," she said. "It’s the first time that I’ve had the torch our for a while but people are still very interested."

People could also get information on the various activities across the county, including the Fit for Villages programme, Cycle Suffolk and Community Games.

Tony Bush, business development manager for Suffolk Sport, said: “It has been very good. It’s been incredibly busy and we have lots and lots of different sports for people to try.

"Whether it’s one they play regularly, or something they’ve never tried before, there’s something for everyone. The aim is to try and encourage people to get a bit more active, it’s all part of the legacy from London 2012."

Link to article: Ipswich Star

Nicky on BBC Radio Suffolk's Mark Murphy show
Date: 27/11/2012

Talking about the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Short List

Download MP3 file

Rio 2016: Archer Nicky Hunt's medal hopes boosted by funding
Date: 22/11/2012

Nicky Hunt has said she expects to challenge for a medal at Rio 2016 after learning she will receive full Olympic funding from Archery GB.

The former compound world number one switched disciplines to recurve in March to pursue a place at London 2012.

But she missed out on qualification by 19 points from the 6,000 available.

"I would like to be on that podium and I think it's good to aim high. My eyes are on a medal," the 27-year-old from Ipswich told BBC Sport East.

"I think I've got to be looking towards medals. This is what it's about really."

A podium place in Rio would be achievable for Hunt if she can translate her prowess in the compound to the recurve over the next four years.

She won two gold medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and was consistently ranked the best in the world in compound, a discipline that is not an Olympic event.

"I think I've got a lot to prove still in the discipline, but as soon as I put that compound down in March of last year I was fully committed to the recurve," she said.

"It was all eyes on London and now I have the opportunity to go for Rio, it's still all about the recurve.

"I feel confident. I'm a proven winner. I know that I can win in archery and I can cope in head-to-heads and I've got four more years to hone my skill."

Hunt has been able to take time off from her job as a physiotherapist thanks to a combination of the National Lottery funding granted to her by Archery GB, as well as securing continued sponsorship from two Suffolk companies.

"The funding is key. If you haven't got the support of your governing body it makes everything so much harder," she added.

Link to article: BBC

Nicky Hunt back in training and chasing Olympic dream
Date: 17/10/2012

A PLACE in the GB team for next year’s World Archery Championships, in Turkey, is not out of the question for Nicky Hunt.

However, with the Rio Olympics in four years time a realistic target, the Kesgrave archer stressed she will not panic if she does not make the cut.

Link to article: EADT24

Kesgrave archer Nicky Hunt is using her Olympic disappointment as motivational fuel
Date: 27/07/2012

BEACHES across the world will be populated over the coming two weeks by Brits who were dealt Olympic selection heartache.

For those that came so near, yet so far to the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of competing at a home Games, the prospect of watching the action unfold may simply be too much to bear.

You certainly couldn't blame Kesgrave archer Nicky Hunt for feeling that way.

A double gold medallist at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, the 27-year-old was forced to switch disciplines from compound to recurve as only the latter is included within the Olympics.

Link to article: EADT24

Olympic cauldron lit in Ipswich's Christchurch Park
Date: 05/07/2012

Torchbearer Nicky Hunt, Britain's number one archer, has lit the cauldron in Christchurch Park, Ipswich, to end day 48 of the Olympic torch relay.

The relay started outside Norwich Castle before travelling along the banks of the River Wensum in the city. It then made a coastal stop in Southwold and a boat trip along the River Orwell before arriving in Ipswich.

View video: BBC

London Calling - The torch comes to Suffolk and Essex
Date: 05/07/2012

As the Olympic flame winds its way around the country on the last leg of its 8,000 mile journey to London, we follow its journey into Suffolk and Essex. From torchbearers to businesses and spectators, this is an account of how the spirit of the 2012 Games came to our streets.

Link to article: EADT24

Ipswich pair Nicky Hunt and Michael Peart through to next stage of Olympic qualifying
Date: 02/04/2012

IPSWICH-based duo Michael Peart and Nicky Hunt have both secured their places in the second round of qualifying for the Olympic Games.

Hunt will join veteran Alison Williamson, who has been to five previous Olympic Games, Amy Oliver, Naomi Folkard, Beccy Martin and Charlotte Burgess in two weekends’ time when two men and two women will be eliminated.

Sunday’s selection shoot saw the number whittled down from 17 to 12 with Peart finishing third in the men’s section on 2,616, behind winner, Larry Godfrey and Lincolnshire’s Simon Terry.

Peart finished six points ahead of Alan Wills, with Rob Hallworth and Andrew Randall the other two shooters to advance as Jon Shales, Sean Evans, Tom Barber and Mark Nesbitt fell by the wayside.

Archery GB performance director Sara Symington said: “It was a very tense, competitive, dramatic weekend, as you’d expect. There were some fantastic performances, some thrilling sub-plots, and for 12 archers the dream lives on.”

The top three men and the top three women will compete at the three-day final shoot from April 19-21 will then compete at Lord’s at this summer’s Olympics.

Link to article: EADT24

John Grose Sponsor Double Gold Medallist Nicky Hunt
Date: 29/03/2012

We're proudly sponsoring Archer Nicky Hunt and supplying her with a brand new Peugeot RCZ GT. 

In 2009 Nicky became the first Britain to win a World Cup stage and ended the World Cup Series ranked 1st with the compound bow.  2010 was a fantastic year, in which she made 3 of the 4 World Cup stage gold medal finals, taking home two Silver and one Gold medal. She finished the season ranked world number one and winning Individual and Team gold at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi - England's first archery gold medal at the Commonwealth Games for 28 years.

Nicky then made the switch back to the recurve (Olympic) bow she shot and represented Great Britain with as a junior; as the compound bow isn't included in the Olympics. 

After the Commonwealth Games, Nicky was accepted onto the Archery GB Olympic program and has been training full time for the London 2012 Olympics since.

Nicky has been very impressed with the Peugeot RCZ, particularly with its smooth drive, great specification including heated seats, impressive visibility and comfort - of this she said "I am now strangely looking forward to my 3 hour journeys up to Shropshire!'.  We have provided Nicky with the RCZ to enable her to travel around the country to training sessions in preparation for the Olympic Games.  Nicky trains three times a week at Teams GB's base in Lilleshall, Shropshire.

Link to article: John Grose

Ipswich archery couple's Olympic dream
Date: 29/03/2012

A couple from Ipswich are trying to qualify for London 2012 in archery.

Nicky Hunt and Michael Peart are getting their chance to qualify for Team GB throughout April.

 

View video: BBC

Nicky wins Sports Personality of the Year for Suffolk Coastal
Date: 23/11/2011

The fifth annual Suffolk Coastal Sport Awards ceremony saw 11 winners on a night which was a celebration of achievement and commitment from across the district.

The fifth annual Suffolk Coastal Sport Awards ceremony saw 11 winners on a night which was a celebration of achievement and commitment from across the district.

The overall Sports Personality of the Year award went to local golden archer Nicky Hunt, while the other awards saw winners from primary school children age up to a 95 year old.

“The annual Suffolk Coastal Sports Awards is an excellent way of recognising our local sports people and organisations for their achievements and contribution to sport during the last year. There is a wealth of talent in our district and this is an opportunity to put them in the spotlight, along with those individuals or organisations that are helping to develop and promote sport,” said Cllr Geoff Holdcroft, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Economic Development.

“I would like to thank all the sponsors who supported this year’s awards, particularly BT for their generous hosting of this event. It is great that a world-leading company is playing its part in helping some of our sports people who may not all be aiming to be world-beaters, but are at least our district’s sporting heroes.

“Our Sports Awards once again brings into focus the fact that those taking part in sport in our district come in all shapes, talents and ages and from across all our communities, but all have share the drive to maximise their talents or help others to fulfil their potential,” added Cllr Holdcroft.

Link to full article and winners: Suffolk Sport

Local honour is an end of year boost for Nicky
Date: 21/11/2011

GB international archer Nicky Hunt has been named Suffolk Coastal sports personality of the year.

The award, announced at a special ceremony on Sunday, is in recognition of her double gold medal at the Delhi Commonwealth Games, but also for her contribution as a club archer in the area she lives, and her enthusiasm for coaching youngsters.

"I'm thrilled to bits," said Nicky, who won her gold medals as the world number one compound archer, before switching to recurve 12 months ago. "It's a great honour to be recognised by your local community, and it's good profile for archery, and the many merits of the sport.

"The Delhi experience was something I'll never forget, it was fantastic, to win the medals, and then to carry the English flag into the stadium at the closing ceremony. But now I'm looking forward, and my big challenge is to be in the mix for a place at next year's Olympics.

"I've been pleased with the progress I've made, and I will be working flat out over the winter months to make sure I'm in with a chance, but obviously the competition is going to be very tough."

Follow Nicky on Twitter: @archerynicky
Follow Archery GB on Twitter: @archerygb
Archery GB is sponsored by Foresters Friendly Society

Link to article: Archery GB

Nicky leaves no stone unturned in her hunt for Olympic glory
Date: 16/11/2011

A tractor rolls past cutting the grass as I exchange pleasantries with two-time Commonwealth gold medallist Nicky Hunt.

It’s a bleak Tuesday morning in the sleepy Suffolk countryside - a location which hardly conjures up images of Olympic glory - but here I am rubbing shoulders with an Olympic hopeful hoping to add another string to my bow.

The spot where Nicky and I stand - amongst the vast acres of greenery - could just hold the key to her destiny.

The hours spent there as well as at Deben Archery Club, the gym and with her psychologist makes up a vital part of the jigsaw that she hopes to complete in London next year with a gold medal.

If anyone deserves the chance to star in front of her home support then it is the Hertfordshire-born archer.

She amassed two gold medals at last year’s Commonwealth Games and now she is making every last effort to be in the shake-up for London.

“I shoot six days a week so we are spending two or three days up at the national training centre in Lilleshall and the other days down here,” explained Hunt, who had invited me along to have a go at the recurve discipline of the sport that she hopes to compete in next year.

“We have got to be careful not to shoot on our own all the time as, in those instances, we are not in competition conditions and it is important to get along to club nights as well. Yes, it can be pretty isolated.”

Hunt’s ambitions are clear but it is remarkable that the 26-year-old has time to think about her aspirations, such is her gruelling schedule.

Whilst firing arrows is her bread and butter, she leaves no stone unturned in her ambition to be the best.

And it has paid off so far. Last year she was number one in the world at compound archery and has only since relinquished that position and moved back to recurve as compound is not an Olympic sport.

“I normally shoot around 200-300 arrows a day, six days a week as well incorporating nine gym sessions into my weekly schedule which includes weight training twice a week, core training four times and cardio-vascular three times,” said Hunt.

“I also do rotator cuff stability to keep the muscles nice and strong and see a psychologist too.”

It’s that last bit that interests me as I frantically try to keep a steady arm whilst keeping my eye on a target 10 metres away, as opposed the 70 that Hunt competes at.

“In a sport like archery you have got to be focused on what you are doing as you are usually in a high-pressure situation,” said Hunt.

“That really is the difference between those who win medals and those that do not at the end of the day.

“You can get an archer who shoots 10s consistently but when it comes to a final, can they handle the pressure then?

“It works for me and in the Commonwealth Games, I faced some of the biggest shots in my career and the pressure was phenomenal.

“But I had worked up to this moment for three or four years and had already competed in the final a hundred times in my head, so I was able to stay in the zone and think about what I normally do. I forgot about everything else around me and that is what you have to do.

“I think everyone gets nervous and there is no point saying otherwise but I think you lose your edge or are not really wanting it enough if you are not.”

I fired my first few shots above the board, never mind above the target but as time went on, I focused, settled into a rhythm and eventually hit some good shots, including one in the yellow.

However, just as I was beginning to experience delusions of grandeur, I was brought back to earth with a bang.

Back to reality, I remembered that I was only firing at a target within spitting distance.

Add to that the fact that my arm was getting twitchy and I soon realised that it would take a bit of core and cardio-vascular work to be comfortable firing arrows on a regular basis.

As for Hunt, her technique is so graceful and, time after time, she hits the spot with an unerring accuracy.

“I have been shooting 70 metres away and you have been shooting 10, you have got a lot of practice to do,” joked Hunt, who is funded by UK Sport.

“The higher the poundage you can handle smoothly, the quicker the arrow will fly through the air and is less affected by the weather conditions. It’s all about good technique too and you have to be consistent over and over. You only have to be one degree out and you can be right off the target.

“But you did well. You got on the target pretty quickly, was hitting the blue consistently and also scored a 10.”

Link to article: EADT24

wex proudly supports Olympic hopeful Nicky Hunt
Date: 08/11/2011

We are delighted to announce that we’ve teamed up with Nikon UK to sponsor local athlete and Olympics archery hopeful Nicky Hunt. Together, wex photographic and Nikon UK have supplied Nicky with an optical scope worthy of a World Champion!

Link to full article and photos: wexblog

Business leaders take inspiration from athletes
Date: 25/10/2011

SOME of Suffolk’s top athletes have spoken about their physical and psychological challenges leading up to the London Olympic and Paralympic games.

Javelin thrower Goldie Sayers, archer Nicky Hunt, hand cyclist Brian Alldis and marathon runner Helen Decker were guests of the Suffolk branch of the Institute of Directors at its autumn dinner, held at Hintlesham Hall and attended by more than 140 IoD members and guests.

The evening was hosted by BBC East Olympic Correspondent Shaun Peel, who interviewed the athletes on stage and helped the business audience draw parallels between striving for Olympic victory and attaining business success, where goal setting and planning are also critical to long term achievement.

A raffle on the night raised £1,060 for the Sports Aid Foundation.

Link to article: EADT24

London 2012 Olympic trial timing buoys Nicky Hunt
Date: 11/10/2011

Olympic hopeful Nicky Hunt believes Great Britain's qualifying criteria for London 2012 plays into her hands.

The Ipswich archer is re-training to use the recurve bow and hopes to peak in time for next spring's trials.

"You could be world champion this year and that's not going to guarantee you going to the Olympics," the 26-year-old told BBC Radio Suffolk.

"The selection process doesn't produce shocks, it produces good, accurate, consistent archers."

She added: "It's important we do get people who are on form."

Hunt, the former world number one in the compound discipline, has switched to recurve in order to chase one of the three Olympic places.

Her first foray into competitive action saw her finish the National Series in eighth, and she was at Lord's to watch her rivals take part in an Olympic test event last week.

"We set out a plan to not really perform this summer but to get that technical shot down, get everything right and then really look at the big picture and make sure we peak next summer," she continued.

"I think it's the biggest winter of my career, it's gong to be hard and sore.

"There'll be a lot of arrows shot, but I'm certainly looking forward to it."

Link to article: BBC

Suffolk: Directors to take inspiration from Olympic hopefuls
Date: 29/09/2011

SOME of Suffolk’s top athletes, including medal hopefuls for next year’s London Olympic and Paralympic games, will be among the guests at the Institute of Directors’ Suffolk branch autumn dinner next month.

Among the competitors who will be sharing their experiences will be javelin thrower Goldie Sayers from Newmarket, Brian Alldis, a paralympic handcyclist racer from Bury St Edmunds, current world number one compound archer Nicky Hunt, from Kesgrave, and Ipswich born distance runner Helen Decker.

The evening, for which more than 100 business people have already booked although some places remain available, will offer parallels between striving for victory in sport and achieving success in business.

Paul Winter, chairman, IoD Suffolk, said: “The evening will be a fascinating and compelling insight into the lives, hopes and dreams of Olympic athletes”.

Link to article: EADT

Press Release
Date: 07/09/2011

Abbeycroft Leisure Pledges Support for Olympic Hopeful Nicky Hunt

Olympic hopeful and double gold Commonwealth medallist Nicky Hunt has the support of Abbeycroft Leisure as she trains for the opportunity to represent Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics.  Abbeycroft has adopted Nicky and pledged to raise money to support her efforts over the next year.

Nicky, from Ipswich, found she had a talent for archery by chance. At the age of 11 her brother had tried the sport within Scouts and found a local archery club, and she followed.

In 2009 Nicky became the first Britain to win a World Cup stage and ended the World Cup Series ranked 1st. 2010 was a fantastic year, in which she made 3 of the 4 World Cup stage gold medal finals, taking home two Silver and one Gold medal and was ranked number one in the world. She finished the season winning Individual and Team gold at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi - England's first archery gold medal at the Commonwealth Games for 28 years.

Sadly, compound archery is not an Olympic sport but recurve is, so Nicky has switched back to the recurve bow she loved as a junior to pursue her Olympic dream. She has been accepted onto the Archery GB program and is now training for London 2012.

Abbeycroft will support Nicky, who is an Abbeycroft Sporting Ambassador, through Suffolk SportsAid Foundation’s Destination Gold initiative which provides Suffolk companies and organisations with an opportunity to associate themselves with a world class athlete from the county, to support them on their journey to 2012 and play their part in Suffolk’s Olympic and Paralympic legacy.

Nicky said: "I am delighted that Abbeycroft Leisure is supporting me through the SportsAid Foundation. The switch in discipline has made it paramount for me to put my career on hold and train full time, and that just wouldn't be possible without this sort of backing. It's also an honour as an established athlete to be able to give back to the SportsAid Foundation. I benefited from Sports Aid as a junior athlete and I hope this association will help some stars of the future grow."

Warren Smyth, Chief Executive of Abbeycroft Leisure, said Nicky represented all the remarkable qualities of a future Olympian.

He said: "Her passion for her sport is matched with her drive and determination to switch from one discipline to another to fulfil a dream of competing in the Olympic Games. We know what it would mean to Nicky to compete in the Olympic Games in her home country and we are proud to be supporting her towards her goal. In addition we are very pleased to be supporting the SuffolkSportsAid Foundation which helps future sports stars on their road to success."

Abbeycroft will be holding a series of fundraising initiatives over the coming year at its facilities in The Gym Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill Leisure Centres to raise £3,000 for Nicky and the Suffolk SportsAid Foundation.

Adam Baker, Suffolk Project Manager for the London 2012 Games said: “The Foundation needs the help of local businesses to help the next generation of sporting heroes. It’s really expensive for an athlete to compete at the top level in their sport and meet the cost of things like travel, equipment and competition entries. I would therefore personally like to thank Abbeycroft for supporting both Nicky and the Suffolk SportsAid Foundation.”

For more information on Abbeycroft Leisure visit www.acleisure.com  For more information on Nicky Hunt’s bid for London 2012 visit her new website at www.nickyhunt.co.uk

Archery becomes first sport to be played at Houses of Parliament
Date: 06/09/2011

Archery became the first sport to be hosted at the Houses of Parliament when MPs and peers swapped their briefcases for bows on Speakers' Green on Monday.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt joined in the event, which was one of several novel archery initiatives taking place this year to help celebrate the sport's 150th anniversary - and promote its profile ahead of the London 2012 Olympics.

BBC Sport's Nick Hope caught up with Jeremy Hunt and double Commonwealth gold medallist Nicky Hunt at Westminster.

Link to article: BBC

MPs settle scores at Westminster with bows and arrows
Date: 06/09/2011

Members of Parliament show why they would never make a decent Robin Hood as they try their hands at archery on Speaker's Green, before an Olympic hopeful shows them how it is done.

The event marked the British archery team's 150th anniversary and featured culture secretary Jeremy Hunt as well as several other plucky MPs.

Organised by Labour MP Huw Irranca-Davies, the parliamentary sponsor for archery in the countdown to next year's London Olympic Games, the competitors were shown the way by Commonwealth Games double gold medalist Nicky Hunt.

Speaking before the event on Speaker's Green, Mr Irranca-Davies said: 'This will be the first time in the history of parliament – ever, with no exceptions – that there's been a sporting event held there."

Link to article: Telegraph

Nicky HUNT: Chasing the Olympic dream
Date: 28/8/2011

Over the past couple of years Nicky HUNT (GBR) has made her mark in the compound community, winning two World Cup stages, being ranked world number one and winning double gold at the Commonwealth Games (CWG) in India. What more could you ask for one might wonder? Like many other athletes Nicky also has the "Olympic Dream". This dream tempted her to make the surprising switch from dominating with the compound to basically starting all over in the (Olympic) recurve division. Committed as she is, she took a sabbatical from work to become a fulltime archer.

Download full PDF

PKF sponsors Olympics archery hopeful Nicky Hunt
Date: 16/08/2011

The Ipswich office of accountancy firm PKF has agreed to sponsor double gold Commonwealth medallist and Great British Olympic hopeful, archer Nicky Hunt.

Nicky who is 26 and lives in Kesgrave is in intensive training to become one of three women to represent the British Archery team in the London Olympics 2012.

Peter Harrup, a PKF partner based in Ipswich, said: "It is great to be involved with such a talented, local, young sportswoman and we are giving all the support we can. We wish her every success in her endeavours to make the British team for this global event in London next year."

Nicky, who took up archery at the age of just 11 and was competing internationally by the age of 12, has been nominated to be an Olympic torchbearer in Suffolk on July 5, 2012. "This will be a fabulous start to the games for everyone in East Anglia," she said.

Link to article: EADT

GB HOPEFUL: NICKY HUNT
Date: 12/8/2011

The lure of the Olympics is so strong that despite having been world number one in the compound discipline, British archer Nicky Hunt has ditched it in favour of the Olympic discipline, recurve. She tells Sport why...

Download full PDF to read more

100 Team GB contenders for London 2012
Date: 26/07/2011

Nicky featured in BBCs Top 100 GB Contenders List

Link to article: BBC News

First Abbeycroft Sports Ambassador in Ipswich
Date: 14/06/2011

World Number One Archer and Olympic hopeful Nicky Hunt Becomes First Abbeycroft Sports Ambassador in Ipswich

Ipswich’s world number one compound archer and Olympic hopeful Nicky Hunt and her partner Michael Peart, former world number 2 and now recurve world championships number 1 qualifier, launched the  Ipswich Sports Ambassadors programme on 14 June.

Abbeycroft Leisure, which runs The Gym Ipswich in Civic Drive, has operated a successful sports ambassadors programme in Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill for many years.

Now as part of its social enterprise status and commitment to sports development in the local community, Nicky and Michael will be the first Ipswich ambassadors and join a host of local athletes who are nationally and internationally recognised sports men and women.

Sports Development Officer Amelia Epton, who runs the Sports Ambassadors Programme, said it was set up to promote local sports role models to the community.

She said: “We support athletes competing on a national or international level with training facilities and in return they help us raise the profile of sport in the local community, attending events, visiting schools and giving talks.”

2010 was a fantastic year for Nicky in which she made three of the four World Cup stage gold medal finals, taking home 2 silver and 1 gold medal and is now ranked number one in the world. She finished the season with individual and team gold at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi - England's first archery gold medal at the Commonwealth Games for 28 years.

As compound archery is not an Olympic sport, Nicky has switched back to the recurve bow she loved as a junior to pursue her Olympic dream. She has been accepted onto the Archery GB program and is now training for London 2012. Nicky opened The Gym Ipswich in January this year.

Michael is a former world number 2 compound archer who also switched to recurve in 2001. He is now a recurve world championship number 1 qualifier, multiple national champion and full time member of the British Olympic training programme. He is currently ranked UK number 2

Nicky and Michael, who met and fell in love while competing for their country, will be training at The Gym Ipswich for forthcoming competitions and London 2012. More sports ambassadors for Ipswich will be announced later in the year.

Nicky said: “I am really excited and honoured to be invited to be an Abbeycroft Sports Ambassador for Ipswich and to launch the programme in my home town. It is so important that we encourage the next generation of athletes from Ipswich and help them reach their full potential. I hope to be able to meet lots of people through my new role.”

Michael, who first tried archery on a school trip and signed up for a beginner’s course on his 14th birthday, said: “I met Nicky through competing for Great Britain. Sport opens up so many opportunities for young people and it is really amazing to know that we will be helping to influence the athletes of the future.”

Siobhan Costello, Manager of The Gym, said she was thrilled that Nicky and Michael will be the first sports ambassadors for Ipswich.

She said: “The Gym Ipswich has gone from strength to strength since Nicky opened the building in January this year. To have two world class athletes train here alongside our members is a true testament to the quality of fitness equipment we have here and our commitment to keeping it at an affordable cost for the community has been welcomed by both Nicky and Michael.”

For more information on The Gym Ipswich and the sports ambassadors programme in Ipswich visit www.thegymipswich.co.uk

Olympic torch to visit Suffolk
Date: 18/05/2011

Olympic torch to visit Suffolk on way to London 2012

The torch will be taken to Christchurch Park, Ipswich, on 5 July, 2012, after being carried over the border from Norfolk in the Olympic torch relay.

A public party featuring live music will be held in the park.

Ipswich archer Nicky Hunt has been nominated to be a torch bearer. "It's a fabulous start to the Olympics for everyone in Suffolk," she said.

The Olympic torch will start a 70-day tour of the country at Land's End, Cornwall on 19 May 2012.

Games 'magic'

After an estimated 8,000 mile (12,874km) trip it will finally reach the Olympic Stadium in London on 27 July, in time for the lighting of the cauldron at the opening ceremony.

The full route is to be confirmed.

Ipswich marathon runner Helen Decker and paralympic cyclist Brian Alldis, from Bury St Edmunds, have also been nominated by Suffolk County Council to carry the torch on part of its journey through the county.

Mr Alldis said: "It will be an honour to have it here and bring it to the minds of people that the Olympics is just down the road.

"It would be a dream come true to carry the torch."

Councillor Kathy Gosling, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for sport, said: "We're absolutely delighted that our county town will be hosting one of the prestigious Olympic torch relay evening celebration events.

"It will be a fantastic experience that will bring the magic of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to Suffolk for everybody to enjoy."

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (Locog) is looking for 8,000 'truly inspirational' people to carry the torch on its journey throughout the UK.

Source: BBC News

Archer Nicky Hunt prepared for 'massive risk'
Date: 05/04/2011

Suffolk archer Nicky Hunt says she would have looked back with regret had she not pursued a place at London 2012.

The 26-year-old is gambling her status as the world's top compound archer on the possibility of earning an Olympic berth in the recurve discipline.

"Yes it is a massive risk," she told BBC Radio Suffolk.

"But I still think I can put in 100% now and, if I don't make the team for 2012, at least I can look back and not regret not trying."

The compound discipline, in which Hunt won two Commonwealth Games gold medals last year, is not a sport at London 2012.

So she has been training in the recurve since November and hopes to be able to earn one of the three places in Great Britain's Olympic team at next year's spring trials.

"If the Olympic selection shoot was in two weeks' time I'm not going to make the top three, this is not an easy switch," she explained.

"It's going to be really hard work but it's a possibility. I've effectively got just over a year to improve, I think we can make a lot of changes in that time."

One of those changes has been taking a sabbatical from her day job as a physiotherapist to concentrate on training.

That is something which was made possible by funding from UK Sport and sponsorship from local company Movac.

"I'm shooting 600 arrows at least six days a week, so the compound really is an evening thing at the moment," Hunt added.

"They're turning into 12-hour days with the gym sessions I'm doing as well."

Hunt's compound performance has suffered because of her recurve commitments, as shown by a disappointing first-round defeat in the European Indoor Championships last month.

The Ipswich-based archer will focus on this summer's domestic recurve calendar before aiming for the second European Grand Prix in France at the end of May.

Source: BBC News

gym opening
Date: 17/02/2011

World Number One Archer and Olympic hopeful Officially Opens New Suffolk Budget Gym

Ipswich's world number one compound archer, Commonwealth gold medallist and Olympic hopeful Nicky Hunt officially opened The Gym, Ipswich in the former St Matthews Baths on 17 February.

The new affordable gym opened to the public in the centre of Ipswich in January offering state-of-the-art workout stations for just £12.99 per month. Abbeycroft Leisure, which manages both Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centres in Suffolk in partnership with St Edmundsbury Borough Council, is one of a handful of leisure trusts in the UK to branch out and develop an affordable fitness model. 

Abbeycroft has been working on the project with Leeds-based Your Management Solutions Limited, a leading consultancy service specialising in the leisure industry.
The new gym is on two floors with one hundred Matrix fitness stations including a first for Suffolk - the brand new Virtual Active experience, a revolutionary workout experience which simulates climbing, running and hiking along some of the world’s most beautiful landmarks.

Archer Nicky Hunt performed the opening ceremony by cutting a ribbon in front of invited guests from the local community including the Mayor of Ipswich Cllr Jane Chambers who was delighted to see a major refurbishment of the building in which she used to swim as a child.

2010 was a fantastic year for Nicky in which she made three of the four World Cup stage gold medal finals, taking home 2 silver and 1 gold medal and is now ranked number one in the world. She finished the season with individual and team gold at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi - England's first archery gold medal at the Commonwealth Games for 28 years. As compound archery is not an Olympic sport, Nicky has switched back to the recurve bow she loved as a junior to pursue her Olympic dream. She has been accepted onto the Archery GB program and is now training for London 2012.

Nicky said: “I am delighted to open Abbeycroft’s new gym in my hometown of Ipswich. It is really important that people in the town have access to high quality fitness facilities that are affordable. My love of sport and archery came about because I joined a club that my brother belonged to and it was relatively inexpensive to attend. This is exactly what we need in the town to compliment other fitness facilities, to get people looking after their bodies and develop a passion for keeping fit and healthy.”

Warren Smyth, Chief Executive of Abbeycroft Leisure, said: “We are so pleased that Nicky was able to open our new affordable gym. She has achieved so much in the last few years and is a real inspiration for people in the town. We will be supporting Nicky in the coming year in her bid to compete in the London 2012 Olympics.”

The Gym Ipswich Website - www.thegymipswich.co.uk

Nicky Hunt awarded funding to make recurve switch
Date: 01/02/2011

Nicky Hunt, the world number one compound archer seeking to switch to recurve archery for the 2012 Olympics, has been awarded funding by UK Sport.

Recurve is an event at the London Games - unlike compound, in which Hunt won double Commonwealth gold in Delhi.

"I've been told I will receive some UK Sport backing, which is really important," Hunt told BBC Sport.

"They can see the potential. I'm on the Olympic programme and fighting for my space at 2012."

Hunt, who still expects to compete in some compound tournaments, returned to recurve archery in the wake of her success at the Commonwealth Games.

UK Sport, the body which allocates funding to Britain's Olympic sports, has now decided to financially support the Ipswich 26-year-old's bid to reach the Games.

"We had a review with the archery performance director and the coach," explained Hunt.

"I've been quite successful with my compound and a lot of that stuff is transferable, especially the mental side of archery, which is a big factor.

"It's one of the lower levels of funding and I've now asked for a sabbatical from work [as an NHS physiotherapist], so it'll be a lot lower than what I normally earn in a month - but that's the sacrifice you make to go to the Olympics."

Hunt hopes to take at least seven months away from her job to focus on her recurve training, and will stay on the programme if she continues to progress.

"I shot recurve as a junior so it's not something new to me," she said.

"We're a couple of months in now and it's all going really well. I think I can be fairly successful with it.

"Our outdoor season starts in April and I'd hope to be shooting in domestic recurve tournaments from then onwards, and then international tournaments towards the end of the year."

British archers returned from the 2008 Beijing Olympics with little to show for their trip - the women's team lost out to France for the bronze medal, while no individual competitors made it past the last 16.

But GB Archery has since replaced its head coach and the team is now led by American Lloyd Brown, who helped guide the United States to Olympic gold in 1996 and bronze in 2000.

A maximum of three female archers can be named in the British team for 2012, and Hunt will be looking to oust one of a trio comprised of Olympic veteran Alison Williamson, Naomi Folkard and Charlotte Burgess.

Selection trials will take place in the spring of 2012.

Source: BBC News

Archery switch good for sport, says Nicky Hunt
Date: 13/12/2010

World number one compound archer Nicky Hunt says her switch to the recurve discipline should promote healthy competition in the GB ranks.

Ipswich-based Hunt has switched because recurve is an Olympic discipline.

"Healthy competition is always good. In the compound there were only a few of us involved a few years ago," she told BBC Radio Suffolk.

"By the Commonwealth Games, we had so many more people who wanted to go, so it can only be good for the sport."

The 2010 Commonwealth Games double gold winner revealed a month ago she was considering picking up the recurve bow in order to have a chance of competing at London 2012.

Now Hunt has confirmed she will go ahead with the move with the help of GB coach Lloyd Brown and the backing of a new sponsor, local company Drill Masters, which enables her to take a step back from her full-time job as a physiotherapist.

"It's unknown territory really. I think he's [Brown] got some faith in me. He wouldn't be putting the time in if he didn't think it was possible," she added.

"As that string is pulled back it gets heavier and heavier, so I'm now learning a slightly different technique of loading up the muscles.

"There's lots of work to do at the beginning of a long journey."

Hunt, who won two gold medals and two silvers on last season's World Cup tour, will continue to compete on the international compound circuit while training with the recurve bow.

"I think there's still things to win in compound," she said.

"But with the home Olympics in 2012 and all the support and funding that surrounds our sport at the moment, it seems like a fantastic time to have a go.

"Through the 2011 season I need to achieve my qualifying scores [for the GB Olympic team] and then there'll be selection shoots in the spring of 2012 to select the three to make the team."

Source: BBC News

New direction
Date: 01/11/2011

Since the commonwealth games, I have switched back to the recurve bow I shot as a junior. I have been lucky to take a sabbatical from my job in the NHS as a physiotherapist, and now train full time. My aim is to make the team for the London 2012 Olympics.

Commonwealth Games
Date: 24/10/2010

I couldnt have had a better Commonwealth Games ever! I was 100% on form out there and everything went well.

I qualified in 2nd, 1 point behind Doris Jones of Canada 698 and 697.

The team round went really well. Nichola Simpson, Dani Brown and I were all on form on the day. We shot against Canada in the Gold Final and it was tight! We were down by 2 points at the half way stage, but shot an awesome 2nd half to win 232-229, just one point off the world record!

Two days later I shot the individual 1/4s, semis and final. Again, Doris and I shot against each other in the final. We both shot really well in a very close match - both opening up with a 30 end! I managed to gain a lead 5-3 up, and had to shoot a 10 to win, anything else would have given Doris the set points and it would have gone to the tie break! I shot a strong shot - about 1cm off the X - I won the Commonwealth Games!!

Its such an amazing feeling because I have worked towards this moment for 3 years!

In the closing ceremony I was voted by England to carry the flag into the stadium - what an amazing experience! I will never forget the 2010 Commonwealth Games!

World Cup Finals, Edinburgh
Date: 22/09/2010

Not the result I wanted from this tournament but great experience! I am learning more and more, and my defeats definately make me stronger! I finished 5th overall.

Chris and I shot in the mixed team against Mexico and we both shot great - winning the Gold 155-150 (not bad out of 160!)

World Number One!
Date: 22/09/2010

The world rankings were updated on 8/9/10 and the points added from Shanghai. My gold there, my 2 silvers from stage 1 and 2 this year and my Gold from Croatia last year puts me in the top spot for the very first time!

4th World Cup, China
Date: 22/09/2010

The first week of September was the 4th world cup. The qualification round was interesting! With thunder and lightening at the beginning and end of the round (in fact we had to stop after 5 dozen and go inside!)

My head to heads were better, especially my 1/4s and semi finals - I shot really well. I made it into the Gold match against Ochoa of Mexico. I started with a great lead, but she came back to tie the match 5-5. I was pleased with my shot in the shoot off, just missing out on a 10 (some wind drift in the stadium), and it was good enough to take Gold!!

Dani and Nichola shot great with me in the team round and we picked up Team Bronze - not bad for our first competition together!

3rd World Cup, Ogden
Date: 22/09/2010

I really enjoyed this event. A fantastic place, mountains in the background and a trip to the Easton factory to see how my arrows are made - very cool!

This was the 50m hit/miss tournament again. I shot fairly well but was taken out in the 3rd round as my Canadian competitor shot 3/3 hits for 3/4 ends! Cant really be disappointed with that!