Sharp-shooting Maple Hayes student breaks junior British archery record



A promising young archer from Maple Hayes Dyslexia School in Lichfield is celebrating after breaking a long-held a British record in a junior tournament.


Edward Gray, aged 13, a member of Meriden Archery Club, came first in the Recurve Boys’ trophy at the annual Cleve Junior Tournament that was held in Bristol in June 2021.


In the junior Windsor round, Edward, who only took up the sport in 2018 but is already being hailed as a potential to represent Great Britain at both junior and senior levels, scored a record-breaking 958 points, achieving a new British record that had been held for 10 years.


His mother, Sharon Gray, said: “I am absolutely over the moon for Edward, he has really excelled at archery since he tried it out and the smile on his face when he realised he had broken the record was beautiful to see.


“His coaches have really taken him under their wing and brought out this real love for the sport and incredible talent.”


His coach, Philippa Lowe, from Meriden Archery Club, hailed the achievement as “amazing” and has tipped him as a future star archer.


“It was a very strong record to beat and Edward had a perfect score in one of his distances,” said Philippa, who is also a talent coach for Archery Great Britain.


“I’ve coached a lot of people but he is probably one of the best all-round archers - the whole package. It’s down to his commitment, maturity and dedication. He has progressed so much in the past few months, which is all the more remarkable seeing as he had to be coached virtually during lockdown. He is outstanding and I hope he will go on to represent Great Britain.”


She said Edward’s weekly training includes shooting between 500 and 600 arrows as well as strength and conditioning exercises, which takes hours of dedication.


Edward lives in Coleshill, Warwickshire but travels to specialist dyslexia school, Maple Hayes, which welcomes pupils from across the West Midlands.


Headteacher, Dr Daryl Brown, said: “We are all very proud of Edward’s achievements. He is a fantastic ambassador for our school and his focus, commitment and ambition is a great example to all young athletes in the UK.”


For more information about Maples Hayes Dyslexia School, visit www.dyslexia.school.