Guernsey Press

Full allocation of archers named for home Island Games

The hosts will be armed with a record-sized team of 16 archers at the Guernsey 2023 NatWest International Island Games.

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Some of the members of the archery team who will represent Guernsey in the Island Games. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 31391511)

And in a real endorsement of the sport’s suitability for all ages, Guernsey’s newly-unveiled archery team covers both young and old – 72-year-old Mike Burrows has qualified for his first Games, while debutant Ellen Bonner is currently still 13.

There are also two father-daughter combinations in the team, while the successful Gray sisters are back in action as medal contenders.

The Sarnians claimed three golds and 13 medals in total at Gotland 2017, the sport’s last Games appearance, but Bowmen of Guernsey stalwart and tournament director Steve Yates is hoping that haul can be surpassed.

‘We would like to beat our medal total from 2017, which is 13, and I think we could,’ he said.

‘It all depends on who else is coming. We would like to make it our most successful Games yet.’

  • Listen to a full interview with Steve Yates and Paul Taylor on this week's Guernsey Press Sport Podcast

Steve Yates is the tournament organiser for archery at Guernsey 2023. (Picture by Sophie Rabey)

Yates called archery’s return to the Games programme ‘really exciting’.

‘We have not competed at the Island Games since 2017, so there’s a lot of catching up to do.

‘All the other islands are in the same boat as well, so we are not really sure what we are going to be up against.’

Recurve star Chantelle Goubert already has six Games appearances behind her and nine individual medals, making her the island’s most experienced and successful archer.

Lisa Gray, who won one individual and two team golds in Gotland, is anticipating her fourth Games – as is sister Zoe. Jason Le Page and Mike Marquand have also already been to three Games apiece.

In contrast, seven archers are making their debut and that includes team veteran Burrows, who took up the sport five years ago.

Never before have Guernsey opted to send the maximum of 16 archers.

‘We have not had that many before, but as it’s a home Games, it would be a shame not to let people compete when it’s not going to cost them anything to go,’ Yates added.

‘It’s good to see that there’s competition for all the places and it’s a nice team, with some experienced people and some new faces as well.’

  • Team Guernsey archery squad for Guernsey 2023

Women’s recurve: Lisa Gray, Chantelle Goubert, Morgan Taylor, Jess Clarke.

Women’s compound: Zoe Gray, Gen Witham, Demelza Newsom, Ellen Bonner.

Men’s recurve: Jason Le Page, Jason Clarke, Paul Taylor, Jon Davey.

Men’s compound: Mike Marquand, Oliver Coupe, Kieran Kelly, Mike Burrows.