After only a year in archery, Matthew Neve from Perriswood Bowmen has been successful in gaining a place at the Invictus Games and will be part of the UK team competing in Toronto in September.
Matthew served in the RAF between 2001 and 2004 and unfortunately, as a result of the things he saw on deployment to operations, he found himself suffering from depression, PTSD and other mental illnesses.
As Matthew describes it, he lost his way until back in June 2016 when he picked up a recurve bow for the first time. He thoroughly enjoyed it and found that it helped him become calm as it took away his stress and allowed him to just focus on the target and where the arrow is going.
Matthew then joined Perriswood Bowmen and as a result of being coached by Brian Williams, he found his standard improved quickly. After some intensive training, Matthew attended the Invictus Games Trials in April 2017 and came away with the highest score on the field. To his delight Matthew was told on 30th May that he had been selected for the Games.
This has given Matthew a massive sense of achievement, meaning and self-worth. He fully appreciates the way that sports recovery has helped him and he would encourage anyone who is suffering mental or physical disabilities to have a go at archery or any other sport to see how beneficial it can be.
With the support of his family, his coach at Perriswood and his sponsors KG Archery, Matthew is going to the Games and as he put it, “Now to bring them medals home in September”
This is a fantastic achievement for Matthew and WAA wishes him the best of luck. Enjoy the experience and we look forward to seeing your medals.