Keep up with Armagh i

Archer with Keady roots hoping for European Games success

Emma hopes to have some good matches at the European Games, with the dream that one day she can make it to the Olympic Games.

Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

A Warwick-based archer with family roots in Keady is hoping to do County Armagh proud as she represents Team Ireland at the European Games this week.

Emma Davis will be competing at the European Games 2023 in Krakow, Poland. She is one of two athletes announced by Team Ireland who will be competing in the Archery contests, alongside Oskar Ronan from Dublin. Both athletes will compete in the Recurve Individual events.

The European Games, which is now in its third iteration, began yesterday (Wednesday) with the Archery competition due to start tomorrow (Friday), before the close of the Games on July 2.

The Archery section consists of eight events, comprising 124 athletes from 36 different countries.

Emma, who is a lecturer in Mathematical Biology at the University of Warwick, grew up in England but visits Armagh often as her dad is from Keady, where her family live.

Speaking on how she got into archery, Emma explained: “I started as a student when I was 19 and I’ve been shooting for almost 12 years.

“I’d represented Northern Ireland a few times before, but then in 2021 I represented Ireland for the first time.  I’ve been to a couple of European Championships and a few World Cups.”

Emma finds it can often be a tough balancing act between her career and her archery ambitions, but she is keen to move up the ranks.

A lot of the other countries that have more funding, they train full time, so they’re full-time athletes, but I have a full-time job. For my training you do quite a lot of actual shooting, so that would be four or five times a week, and then gym and cardio as well.

“Qualifying for the European Games has been my goal for the last 18 months. It’s my first ever games.”

Emma qualified for a space at the Games in April at the European Grand Prix. There, she emerged victorious against two other women to secure the spot.

Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

For Emma, sport runs deep in her family which has made her success all the more exciting.

“My dad is very into sport so I grew up watching a lot of Irish sport, particularly rugby, but lots of other things too. When me and my sister were younger and we’d take up a sport, my dad would say ‘you’ll represent Ireland one day’.”

Emma never thought that one day that dream would become a reality.

“At university it was just one of the things I gave a go. My boyfriend at the time, now my husband, convinced me to take it up.

“He competes for the British Olympic Team and gets paid to train full-time because the British team have more money than us,” she laughed.

“Most competitions I pay to go to. The competitions can cost about £1000-£2000!”

Emma hopes to have some good matches at the European Games, with the dream that one day she can make it to the Olympic Games.

“It’s a tough goal, but it’s a goal,” she said.

“If you get a gold medal, you win a place for the Olympics, which is unlikely, but I’m never going to say it’s impossible!”

Sign Up To Our Newsletter

Most read today

More in Keady