AN archer from Great Sutton has been called up to represent his country at this summer’s Paralympic Games – and he is determined to enjoy every minute.
Richard Hennahane, 31, said it was a ‘dream come true’ to be named in Great Britain’s squad.
His selection came following a year of hard work with the GB Paralympic Archery team, including a recent selection shoot in Lilleshall where he finished in the top two.
Richard cannot wait to test himself against the best disabled archers in the world.
“I’d like to get into contention for a medal,” he said. “That’s an ambition for me – a target. But just getting there has been a huge achievement and I’m determined to enjoy it.”
The Paralympics, which follow on from the London 2012 Olympics, will see 4,000 athletes compete across 20 sports, with all the action beamed to a global television audience.
Richard said that his selection had been an ‘overwhelming and fantastic experience’.
He added: “It’s a dream come true. Ever since I picked up a bow and arrow and started shooting 20 years ago I dreamed about representing Great Britain. To turn this dream into reality has been my greatest achievement so far.”
Despite having many years of archery experience under his belt, Richard is a relative newcomer to the Paralympic scene and has been on the GB squad for only a year.
This is because he only recently discovered that he meets the classification requirements for the disabled element of the sport.
He will go for gold in the standing (ST1) class, which is for athletes with no loss of function in their arms, but with some degree of loss of muscle strength, co-ordination or joint mobility in their legs.
Richard has won one of the two slots available on the GB team for the men’s open compound event, alongside John Stubbs, who won gold at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.
British archers have performed extremely well since Beijing and Team GB has secured 13 places at the Paralympics.
The action will take place at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich from August 30-September 5.
Richard, who finished a creditable seventh on his debut at the World Paralympic Championships in Turin last year, was born in Chatham, Kent. His family moved to the Ellesmere Port area in 1989 and he attended Bishops’ High School in Chester.
Richard is a member of the Bowmen of Bruntwood Archery Club in Stockport and works as a senior information officer for Cheshire East Council in Crewe.