The ups and downs of life are seldom reflected more starkly than in sport. Jodie Grinham is one of Britain’s top Para archers – a 2016 Paralympic silver medallist, and gold medallist at the first dedicated UK Para Championships held earlier this summer. But elite sport isn’t easy, and in this interview Jodie shines a light on the rollercoaster that is archery at the highest level.

KUDOS: Before we look ahead, a quick look back. 2016 was a good year for you, including representing Team GB in the Rio Paralympics. Tell us a little bit about that.

Jodie: Last year was my first Paralympic Games and hopefully the start of many more. It was a fantastic experience and I was fortunate enough to bring back a silver medal with my mixed team partner John Stubbs. It was my strongest performance of my career, and it was the most amazing feeling winning that medal. Being part of such a big team felt like home and not something I will be giving up any time soon.

And how has 2017 gone for you so far?

2017 has been a very challenging season for me. I’ve battled injuries and illness as well as moving. Although it’s the year of the World Championships it’s also year 1 in the season and I’ve had to look at a few things that needed sorting before I really get into the cycle. The biggest highlight of the year for me performance-wise was shooting a world record, as well as two European records, in the Czech Republic in the team event with my squad mates Phoebe Pine and Jessica Stretton. Both are fantastic girls and also amazing archers.

Jodie Grinham poses alongside team mates Phoebe Pine and Jessica Stretton after breaking World and European records

So – you recently returned from representing GB at the 2017 World Para Archery Championships in Beijing. How did it go?

I actually had a very difficult trip. After falling ill on the way out to Beijing. I ended up turning the plane around and going into hospital in Germany (one off the bucket list, I suppose!) This meant I had to fly out a bit later, once I was cleared to fly. So although I’d made it to the Worlds, my body felt so weak and my head was so sore – the event just didn’t go to plan at all. The trip seemed to have ended for me before I had even got there.

The teams we’ve been sending to international events look really strong on paper. What’s the atmosphere like when you go away for these big events?

As a squad we all get on really well and really come together at competitions. It’s lovely to have the team support you and regardless of how we shoot ourselves we always want our team to do well. If I can’t bring a medal back then I’d much rather have a team mate on that podium than none of us.

Talking of that team strength, is it fair to say British archery is in a pretty good place at the moment?

I believe as a team we are in a very strong position, which was underlined at the Rio Games where we brought home three golds, two silvers and a bronze. The team is shooting well and I was 100% confident that a gold or two would be brought back from the worlds – which it was!

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Thanks to Jodie for taking the time to speak to us – we’d like to congratulate her on her fantastic achievements so far and wish her good luck for the future.

KUDOS IS COMMITTED TO CHAMPIONING ARCHERY AT ALL LEVELS

KUDOS is dedicatwed to supporting and encouraging people from all backgrounds to get into archery.

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KUDOS is proud to supply made-to-order archery kit to Archery GB – archery kit that is built for performance and worn with pride.

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