February 17, 2023

A story of migration, archery and kindness

Mohamed from Iran tells of how he has found friendship through UK archery.

Migration is a change of life and for me it has been a change of my whole world. I left behind my former life, all my wishes and dreams, all the things that I had worked hard for and achieved over the years. And yet now, here in the UK, I feel born again and that is down to the kindness shown to me through archery.

I knew that I would have turbulent, exhausting and difficult days ahead, but people of every race, culture, colour and skin, wherever they are in the world have a common language of kindness, which in my opinion is the most beautiful language in the world - it makes beautiful things happen.

I’d had a difficult start to life in England. Going through the process of immigration was not easy and being away from my family was really hard. I love archery and to help me find peace I looked for an archery club.

After searching the internet for clubs close to me and having cycled to Selby only to find it closed, I tried the Targeting Archery Club in the village of Scholes near Leeds. This was 35 miles away. I did not know the club’s training time, but I had at least found the club’s home near the local church. 

Fortunately, just when I’d thought I'd had a wasted journey, I met a lovely lady with the kindest smile that I will always remember who said, “I am Karen [Dales], the manager and coach of the Targeting Archery Club.”

I took a deep breath. I had found a club and was so excited. I also met Ken McNaught who is a very kind coach and man, and I told him and Karen about my past in archery. 

Karen organised my sports insurance through Archery GB. When she told me she had done this it gave me such a good feeling. I would be able to hold a bow again and when I released that first arrow it would be as if all the pressures I faced were gone.

Karen shared my story with the Yorkshire Archery Association which led to another kindness: I was training in Scholes when a lady named Marina Rose from the Barnsley Archery Club came with a bow that was really spiritual to her and said, “I am lending it to you so that you can participate in a round known as a Portsmouth”. Because of Marina’s kindness I was able to participate and find new English friends. It gave me confidence that good days were coming.  

A few days later Karen told me that someone had sent me a bow with all the equipment I needed, and I was amazed by such generosity. There really are many kind-hearted people in the big archery family of Great Britain. 

I am so happy to now be a part of the big GB family and I love shooting with the nice and kind members of the Targeting Archery Club, making new friends and I feel great. I hope that I can continue this circle of kindness and generosity. I would like to thank everyone for what they have done for me.


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