October 17, 2023

Meet the Archery GB Board: Victoria Barby

Over the next few months we're going to be meeting each of the Archery GB Board members, learning a bit more about them, their role on the board and their connections to archery. This month, we hear from Victoria Barby.

Why did you join the Archery GB board of directors?

I was an elected member on the Board of Scottish Archery for 6 years. This was a baptism of fire into a sport governing body after the previous board all suddenly resigned. The new Board that I was part of saw the first creation of a strategy for Scottish Archery, a huge increase in funding from Sportscotland, a new website and its first employed members of staff.

Having been on the Board of Scottish Archery for two terms, I wasn’t allowed to stand again so I thought it would make sense to join the Archery GB Board. It was the first year that members got to vote for AGB directors, and I was shooting a lot then so a lot of archers knew who I was so I would get at least some votes. 

What’s your day job?

My job title is Sustainable Development Performance Manager for the Scottish Parliament – what this means is that I ensure that the Parliament is doing everything it can to combat the nature and climate emergencies in a way that is equitable and socially just.

I believe that archery can be at the forefront of climate friendly sports and can help to fight the nature and climate crises. Archery is already heavily impacted by climate change with extreme weather events cancelling competitions. The changing climate means warmer, windier and wetter conditions which archers need to adapt to face.

What is your role on the AGB board?

I am an Elected Director and I am one of the diversity champions.

What are your ambitions for archery?  

I’d like archery to be known as the lowest carbon shooting sport there is, with archers, clubs, officials and volunteers proactively reducing their carbon footprints and environmental impact. I’d like clubs and competition venues to look at how the change in weather patterns is affecting shooting and adapt to the changing climate by moving competition dates and times to avoid the most challenging conditions as well as considering flood and drought risks.

I’d also like archery to be seen as the most inclusive sport where characteristics such as age, gender, pregnancy and maternity, disability, ethnicity, sexuality and religion are welcomed on and off the shooting field and everyone is supportive of each other.

Do you volunteer for any other organisations?

I am a La Leche League Leader, which is a voluntary breastfeeding councillor. I take calls on our national hotline and hold monthly breastfeeding groups to support those who are providing human milk to babies. 

Can you tell us a little bit about any archery experience you have?

I started archery in 2010 after watching the World Cup final in Edinburgh where I live. Seeing Naomi Folkard, Nicky Hunt and Andrea Gales shoot in the centre of the city was awe inspiring and I started to learn to shoot a recurve. For three years I tried hard to shoot the elegant way of the Olympic bow, culminating in being selected to shoot for Scotland at the Euronations and breaking 1200. However it was suggested to me that I would be more suitable with a compound bow, and I took to that much better.

I have represented Scotland nine times and been selected to shoot for Great Britain four times. I was British Field Champion in 2014 and have a World Archery European Team medal in 3D. I made the National Tour Finals twice but could only go the second time as I was giving birth to my son during the 2017 finals!

What other sports are you involved with, as participant or volunteer?

I’ve been involved in lots of sports over the years. I competed in ballroom dancing and dabbled in rowing as a child. I was a synchronised swimming (now called artistic swimming) coach for a while and was a swimming teacher while I was at university. I love to snowboard and ice skate and we do lots of sports as a family.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Don’t listen to advice! You know yourself best and you know what works for you – ignore anything which doesn’t sit right with you, work hard and go for what you want.

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