By Lauren van der Vyver
Pic by Desiree Schirlinger: Calivn Hartley setting up his bow
The Rhodes archery club is one of the few Rhodes sports clubs who went out to impress in performance this year. They also ended the year on a high note when they hosted one of the world’s best archers, Calvin Hartley, at their AGM on Wednesday 8 October. The 20-year-old athlete was made an honorary member of the Rhodes archery club. He was also one of the 64 men to qualify for the Beijing Olympics this year after successive wins in both South Africa and all African championships. On Thursday 9 October Hartley gave an informal talk at the Rhodes Geology Department about his experiences in Beijing. “I started archery when I was ten years old. What gets me out of bed in the morning is to train. I used to wake my parents in the early hours to shoot arrows,” said Hartley.
Hartley won two Junior Championships in England and Germany and two Senior Championships in Spain and Germany. At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Hartley finished his ranking round with a total of 654 points. This gave him the 37th seed for the final competition bracket where he faced Juan Carlos Stevens in the first round. Both archers scored 107 points in the regular match and had to make the difference in the extra round. Here, Hartley scored 18 points, while Stevens advanced to the next round with 19 points. “As you compete, you grow,” Hartley said. “My best feeling was walking through the tunnel into the stadium in Beijing, being watched by more than 5000 people. It’s a good feeling to be watched doing what you love.”
Hartley closed by saying, “Whether you are a sportsman or want to achieve something in life, establish and set your goals, identify the plans and the possible obstacles on the way, and lastly, the more time you invest in your dreams, the more chances of winning. If you can dream it, you can achieve it.” After the talk, Rhodes archers Gavin Tweddle, Lance Ho and Emile Lochner took on Hartley for a short challenge. Having not shot in few weeks, it was a downfall for the talented Hartley. “He put up a good fight, however, our archers reigned supreme,” said Geraldine Simak, Rhodes 2008 Archery Chairperson. Calvin Hartley, ranked 51 (recurve men) in the FITA world ranking and ended his visit on Friday night, where he was special guest at the Sports awards dinner, and mention was made of his achievements.