Richard Custance - County Coach
Richard has a commercial background of many years standing and was a Director of his own fibreglass manufacturing company for over thirty years. This led to involvement within the motor racing and entertainment industry. Most of his personal and working life was based in Hertfordshire until relocating to Cambridgeshire in 1977.
Richard first experienced archery in 1990 while on holiday in France and as a result joined the Bowmen of Rutland in 1991. He quickly developed an interest in coaching and became a County Coach in 1995. His coaching has included archers on the Olympic Programme.
Richard also has an interest in judging and between 2004 and 2008 moved from becoming a County Judge to a National Judge. In 2016 he was involved in judging the European Archery Championships in Nottingham.
In 2012 Richard was involved in Security and Athlete Control for the London Olympics and Paralympics, having previously had similar involvement in the Junior World Championships and Archery World Cup.
In 2014 Archery GB recognised Richard’s services to archery with the award of an AGB Plaquette and in 2015 he was elected Archery GB Vice President, a post that he still holds.
Richard is a past Chairman of the club and has been awarded life membership in recognition of his services to the Bowmen of Rutland.
Michael Lark - Level 2 Coach
Michael joined the club after completing a beginners’ course in 1992 at Casterton College.
Whilst he has been a club member he has held the positions of Secretary, Records Officer and Equipment Officer.
After approximately 4 years Michael went on to start coaching and qualified as Level 1 coach in 1999. 4 years later he obtained a Level 2 coaching qualification.
Michael shoots all 3 disciplines but mainly shoots recurve and compound.
Jane Lark - Level 2 Coach
Jane joined the club after completing a beginners’ course in 1992 at Casterton College.
She assisted her husband, Michael, as Equipment Officer for a 3 year period.
Jane completed a Level 1 coach course in 1999. 4 years later she achieved a Level 2 coaching qualification.
Jane shoots mainly compound but occasionally she also shoots recurve and longbow.
Gordon Parker - Level 2 Coach
Before his retirement Gordon worked for BT for over 42 years. As part of that role he delivered technical and commercial training.
Gordon's involvement with archery dates back over 50 years, from as far back as he can remember there was always a straw bale butt in the garden at which his parents shot. In 1967 he joined the Pine Tree Archers, a field archery club in Suffolk, but a move to Lincolnshire in 1969 put an end to formal archery for a number of years. When an opportunity arose a few years later, Gordon joined Nene Bowman followed by a move to the Bowmen of Rutland in 1997. Gordon still remembers the warmth of the welcome that he and his daughters received on joining the club.
Gordon has achieved First Class classification in both recurve and compound archery. However, an eyesight problem in 2002 curtailed his activities and his desire to compete. At about that time he became a coach and has been a Level 2 coach for a number of years. He is also a past Chairman and Treasurer of the club.
Gordon is determined to extend the same warmth and support to new members that he received and makes a point of joining the newer archers on the shooting line. He likes to think that his coaching style reflects and projects his passion for the sport.
Three generations of the Parker family have been involved in archery so far; maybe it will be 4 generations soon!
Susan Custance - Instructor
Like her husband, Susan’s first experience of archery was while on holiday in France and she also joined the Bowmen of Rutland in 1991. It became a family affair with Richard and their daughter alongside.
Susan has now retired from competitive archery but always shot a recurve bow. With the help of mentors and friends within the club she progressed to gain a First Class badge and compete at County and Regional level. The years that she shot as a team member for the Leicester and Rutland County Archery Association provided some abiding and wonderful memories for her. Friendships were formed that still endure.
Susan is a past Chairman of the club as well as of the County association. She has also had various Archery GB voluntary administration roles at the Junior World Championships at Lilleshall and the World Cup at Dover. Her services have been recognised with an Archery GB Plaquette award. She is still involved with an Archery GB Panel appointment.
Susan is very keen to share her experience and knowledge, having experienced many changes which have progressed the sport forwards in a positive direction so that archery within the UK is now recognised as world-class. She hopes that her candid and open approach from various perspectives will encourage others to succeed.