New homes expert Jacqueline finds another string to her bow

29 August 2017

Jacqueline Hunt

New homes sales advisor Jacqueline Hunt took up archery four years ago as a family hobby - now she is among the very best in the UK and targeting international honours.

A member of the Bovis Homes sales team at the Paragon location in Cambridge, Jacqueline was simply looking for something fun that her husband Alan, son Nathan and daughter Georgina could all enjoy together.

She chose barebow archery - a stripped-down, no-frills form of the sport - only because it looked a sociable pastime that would appeal to all ages, but she has turned out to be a real natural at the sport.

Jacqueline has reached the status of Grand Master Bowman, having first picked up a bow in 2013.

The highest rank in the sport, it is an accolade reserved only for the top one per cent of archers in the UK.

Jacqueline Hunt at her desk

As her team-mates watched on with bated breath, Jacqueline held her nerve to achieve the feat by hitting her third and final qualifying score for Bedfordshire in an inter-county shoot against Hertfordshire.

"I just stand there with a bow in my hand and the arrow seems to go in the right direction! For me, a lot of it is instinctive," explained Jacqueline.

"If you'd had asked me 18 months ago, could I have done it, I'd have said, 'Absolutely not'.
"I'm the one with the bow and arrow, but I couldn't have achieved it without the friendship and support of the people who I shoot with.

"Those competitions tend to be held on Saturday or Sundays and my manager Hayley has been very supportive in allowing me flexibility in my working week to compete, for which I am very grateful."
Jacqueline will compete in the 2018 UK Archery Masters Tournament in June, where the archers who have achieved Master Bowman or Grand Master Bowman classification shoot against each other to determine the best archer in the UK.

Before that, in February, she is planning to enter the world's most prestigious indoor archery competition, the Las Vegas Shoot.

The glitz and glamour of the gambling capital of the world will seem a far cry from the first time Jacqueline tried the sport at an open day at a local archery club.

"I wanted us to do something together as a family before Georgina went to university," said Jacqueline, who has worked for Bovis Homes for two years.

"Most people will have probably seen archery in the Olympics, where the bows used feature sights and a variety of stabilisation devices sprouting from them. But with the barebow class you get a bow and an arrow, nothing else.

"We went and gave it a go at an open day and I've not put a bow down since - all the family absolutely love it.

"It's a very sociable sport, there are quite a lot of families that do it, and everybody takes you under their wing.

"You can be young or old, fit or not quite so fit. It's a lovely sport that I'd recommend to everyone."