Tuks Paralympic archer Shaun Anderson proved that he may well be on track to winning a medal at next month’s World Archery Championships in Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands, when he set two national records over the weekend.
Anderson competed in the disabled W1-category at Marks Park sports club in Johannesburg, where he shot a score of 634 out of a possible 720 in the first round. His previous record was 623, but he was far from finished. During the second round, he shot an impressive 649, setting a new national record with his combined score.
“If I can get close to shooting the same scores during the World Championships, I will have a real chance of finishing in the top five, and perhaps even winning a medal,” says Anderson, who last competed at a world championship in 2017.
The World Archery Federation has also bestowed a significant honour on Anderson by asking him to be one of the guest speakers at the tournament. “I was surprised to be asked, though I did not hesitate for a moment in accepting as it is a real privilege,” he says.
Anderson was left paralysed two years ago after a motorboat accident, and a few years before that had his left arm amputated after he was involved in a motorbike accident.
“The message I want to bring across is that people should refrain from making assumptions when seeing someone in a wheelchair,” he says. “We are still human. Actually, I’d say we are superhuman, because it takes real courage to live life to the fullest, chasing your dreams after a severe setback.
“I am genuinely enjoying life. Don’t get me wrong – I do have my off days. But what keeps me going when I am down is my family and friends, and the support structure at TuksSport. Sport is the one thing that has kept me going. Through my participation, I have learned to make peace with every setback that has come my way.”
The World Archery Championships takes place between 10 and 16 June this year.
Other Tuks archers who have been selected to represent South Africa at the World Archery Championships, as well as the Archery World Cup, are Patrick Roux, Reuben Brent-Meek, Christian de Klerk and Danelle Wentzel.
Another Tuks archer also on target is Bernard Badenhorst, who recently set two age-group world records in the Bowhunter Limited category at the IFAA World Indoor Championships in Wellington, New Zealand.