Before her appearance at the European Grand Prix next week, we caught up with Phoebe Paterson Pine to discuss what it was like being part of both the Para and the Compound squads, and how much of a difference it makes to her long-term goals.
I have wanted to be a part of the Senior National Squad for a while but didn’t think I’d be able to shoot the scores. However, after shooting so well throughout 2022, I knew there would be a chance and when I shot over the required 690’s/720, I had the scores to back that up. I didn’t get my hopes up, so was happy to receive the news that I had been chosen in mid to late 2022. I’m really grateful for the opportunity!
Being selected to be a part of the National Squad doesn’t really change anything that I’ll be doing this year, it just means that I have the chance to shoot alongside the able-bodied team members and alongside the para squad. My competition schedule is still the same, and I’ll still be focusing on getting my spot for Paris in 2024. I’ll just be able to train with more people than normal.
I haven’t been able to compete with the Senior Squad yet, but I was super nervous training with the guys for the first time. It was a completely new experience and I was worried that I would make myself look like a fool by not shooting as well as I had hoped to compared to them, but I was able to shoot to a standard that I’m happy with, and after some time being around everyone I felt way more comfortable and really enjoyed myself!
To me there isn’t that much of a difference between training for the two teams. Both teams shoot structured sessions and I think the only difference is that I might shoot more arrows with the Senior Squad than the Para Squad because we are shooting all day, rather than having other things going on during the day such as gym sessions and meetings.
I love the team dynamics on both of the squads. I’ve known the guys on the Para Squad for longer than those on the Senior Squad, but I get on well with everyone. The Senior Squad has a more close-knit feeling as we stay and train at Eaton Manor, so we all eat together, train together and get to hang out in the evening together as well. There’s more of a connection because of that compared to the Para Squad, but I enjoy the dynamic of both.
Truthfully, I think my focus is more with the Para Squad for this year just because the Paralympic Games are coming up soon and I need to focus on getting a quota spot for the country, but next year and past that, who knows? I push hard and work hard, so if I have what it takes, I would love to compete for both.
I know that other para-archers in the past have been able to compete at both the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games, so if I could do that then I would want to. I would certainly push myself to see if I could make both, plus it would mean more time in LA and who wouldn’t want that?! However, I wouldn’t stress myself out about doing it as I’m already an incredibly successful Para-Archer and I know that that is where my career lies.
Find out more about the members of the National Squads here, and get all the information on the European Grand Prix here.