TAKING AIM: Archery stalwarts Jack and Maureen Taylor are keen to spread the word on their sport.
TAKING AIM: Archery stalwarts Jack and Maureen Taylor are keen to spread the word on their sport. Doug Eaton

Couple's archery labour of love is right on target

MAUREEN and Jack Taylor have been there and done that when it comes to archery

So why, after more than 40 years, are they not sick of it?

The answer is quite simple.

"Archery has been a real labour of love for us," Maureen said. "It's become a way of life."

Maureen, together with husband Jack, will lead Ballina Devils Archery Club's 45th birthday celebrations later this week.

The Ballina couple, who founded the club after being introduced to archery by family members, have enjoyed a notable career in the sport.

Both have collected state and national medals and have also competed at world championship level.

Jack, 88, competed for Australia in field target competition and was also a national judge.

Maureen, 85, has also competed overseas and the couple have participated in Australian Masters events.

The pair, who have four children, nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, have both been honoured in the Archery Hall of Fame for their dedicated service to the sport.

Regardless of the accolades, Maureen said the challenge of the sport was her main satisfaction.

"Archery is all about you," she said. "You are trying to beat yourself.

"You are always trying to better your previous score and do better."

The pair, who are originally from New Zealand and have been married about 66 years, formed the Ballina club 45 years ago.

Maureen said the sport's social side had been just as enjoyable as competing.

"I think it's been about the great camaraderie," she said. "You meet different people of all sizes.

"It's like one big family."

The couple are taking things slightly easier these days, with Jack's shooting restricted by injury.

Maureen still shoots informally but is now looking to concentrate more on coaching.

"That's the great thing about archery," she said. "You can pass on your skills and knowledge to other people.

"Forty-five years isn't a bad innings."

The Ballina club marks its 45th anniversary on Sunday.

Anyone who wants more details on the club should contact president Vinnie Bleakley on 0400 145 885.


Maureen Taylor says the sport is:

Very rewarding: "Archery is a very addictive sport once you start learning. When you start doing well, it gives you a real sense of achievement. You definitely get a sense of well-being and satisfaction because it's a test of physical and mental abilities."

Tests the grey matter: "Archery is a sport that is about 90% concentration. You are trying to better the score you have done before, so it's all about how you are performing."

For everyone: "Archery can be enjoyed by anyone at any level. There's people who shoot competitively, but there's a lot of people who want to shoot as a pastime. You can really shoot to your ability."

Great socially: "You meet some great people in archery. It's also a sport where you can pass your knowledge and abilities to other people."

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