An exciting announcement was made at our AGM, Joy McCormick’s grandson, Patrick Huston had just been selected to represent Team GB in Archery at Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Patrick, born in Belfast, attended Campbell College and was a founding member of the East Belfast Archery Club. He now lives in Shropshire where he coaches while training full time with the Olympic Squad at Lilleshall National Sports Centre. Patrick began archery in 2004 and made his international debut in 2012. [For those who know about these things, he is right handed and his arrows are 29.25″ long and his draw weight is 50 lbs.]
Click here for a BBC interview with Patrick made just after he had qualified for Rio, in which Patrick describes his achievement as ‘amazing’. He also admits to being a bit of a “show off”.
However, we think that he’s entitled to be that and more.
As if being three time world champion archer at junior level wasn’t enough, he’s a former Festival of Quilts prize winner, ca 2006.
Here’s what his proud Granny says:
“In his younger days he enjoyed sewing – was quite good on the sewing machine. I am attaching two photos of a quilt he and I worked on together which was exhibited at the NIPG summer exhibition at the Folk Museum, in the days when they used to mount a craft exhibition.
One is of young Patrick hand- piecing the quilt. The other is of the quilt hanging at Cultra with him, his older brother and myself. I see by my PC they are dated 2003, so Patrick would have been 7.
I believe it was in 2006, when he turned 10 that he made a small wall-hanging which I put into the junior competition at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham. The topic was “The Northwest Passage”. Patrick created his hanging out of re-cycled materials. It won second prize.
Patrick came home to see his parents just after our AGM, as he trains full-time in England. I told him I had mentioned his early career as a quilter at the Patchwork Guild. He was really amused to hear his achievements had been mentioned at the NIPG meeting and laughed.
In fact he was trying to bully me into making him an “Olympic” quilt to celebrate his getting an Olympic place.
NO PRESSURE! “
When asked if Patrick would mind us writing about his quilting career and posting photos of him quilting, Joy said:
“I know Patrick won’t mind. He has had to put up with his mother putting on Facebook a photo of him aged about 4 trying his hand at archery at a fun day in Stormont grounds.”
“Yesterday (Wednesday 29th June), he was kitted out with his Stella McCartney designer gear to wear in Rio. Three suitcases full! This photo is hot off the press” Joy McCormick, June 2016.
Patrick, we’ll all be glued to the television, supporting you and willing you on. Most importantly, enjoy every second of the experience.
Here’s a wee bit about the sport of archery, taken from the official Rio spectator guide.
Considering that hunting is an activity strongly connected to the beginning of our civilisation, archery can be considered one of the oldest sports in history. The practice was made official in the 16th century with the organisation of tournaments in England. Its debut in the Olympic programme was in Paris 1900. In St. Louis 1904, the sport became one of the first to allow women to participate.
ABOUT THE COMPETITION The distance between the archer and the target (1.22m of diameter) is 70m. The target score varies from 1 to 10, according to the proximity to the inner circle. The archer has 40 seconds to shoot each of their six arrows. In the finals, the archer has 20 seconds to shoot each of their three arrows. In the air, the arrow can travel at more than 240km per hour. In the knockout system, any mistake can rule the athlete out of the competition. In individual events, archers with the best results after five series of three arrows go through to the next phase. The same rule applies to team events, but the best teams after four series of six arrows go through.