Hall to Tokyo: Winning Olympic medals is the best way to help archery grow as a sport
TOM HALL admits that there is only one way for archery to improve its visibility with the British public – by winning gold medals for the GB team.
The Kenilworth ace was officially selected to the Great British squad for Tokyo last month in a three-part squad alongside Patrick Huston – who competed in Rio – and James Woodgate.
Hall and Woodgate will make their Games debut in Japan as archery continues to gradually improve its visibility across the UK.
The recurve star believes the sport is headed in the right direction, but admits that focusing on the work at hand is the only real way to inspire young children to take up a bow.
Hall, 30, one of more than 1,100 elite athletes funded by the national lottery and participating in UK Sport’s world-class program, said: “There is a lot of potential in sport.
And here they are!
– GB Team (@TeamGB) April 22, 2021
“There is potential for more competition formats, different ways to broadcast it and to get more involved in the interviews.
“There’s a lot of time I could spend all day thinking about this. I also have another job to do, and it’s just trying to be as good as I can personally to try to get results.
“If we get results in Tokyo, that will also increase exposure tremendously. In the long run, I might even get involved in some things myself – but we have a job to do right now.
“I think the great thing about it is anyone can pick it up. It’s such an accessible sport and it took me to places I never thought I was.
“So I’m here and it’s like, ‘how did it happen’ – it’s not what I originally planned to do.
“I think a lot of people can surprise themselves – people can come in at any age and it’s a really open sport, and I would like to see more people give themselves a chance at that.”
Hall’s progression has been fueled by the UK National Lottery-funded World Class program and allows him to train full-time, access the world’s best coaches and benefit from cutting-edge technology, scientific and medical support.
Hall was part of the British squad that secured Olympic quota places in 2019 and has seen an inexorable progression to the top since starting the sport in college.
He studied a doctorate in chemistry at the University of Warwick, but has now turned all his attention to his sports businesses with a crack in Tokyo looming.
Hall finished ninth in an Olympic test event and after a year like no other, the Hampshire resident added: “It’s important.
“More than ever it was difficult to train, we had to adapt and change what we were doing and things that we took for granted couldn’t happen.
“The level has increased again this year – the level of competition to be on this team was the highest that I or Patrick have ever seen.
“It was super intense and coming out on the other side is a real mark of strength. We had to really dig deep to get on this team – and we’re really going to gain a lot of confidence from that. ”
No one does more to support our Olympic and Paralympic athletes than the national lottery players, who raise around £ 30million every week for good causes. Find out about the positive impact of the national lottery on sport at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk and get involved using the hashtags: #TNLAthletes #TracktoTokyo