Smooth as silk
By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.com.au
EVEN Robin Hood could be excused for looking over his shoulder following Kevin Smoothy's form at the recent Gladstone Bowhunters Club championships.
Smoothy displayed top form in the freestyle unlimited category to win the overall club championship trophy.
A bright idea from a chiropractor six years ago to strengthen his lower back muscles has turned into a great passion for Smoothy who has become one of the best field target archers in Queensland.
"I had a weak back through two collapsed discs, so the chiropractor said 'why not archery?' so I had a go and haven't looked back since,'' Smoothy said.
Smoothy's club championship success in 2004 was the pinnacle of his career to date, having finished runner-up last year and eighth in a top-class Norfolk Island tournament in the lead-up to the championships.
"I really wanted this one, the form was good at Norfolk Island and I was confident,'' he said.
He added a major reason for his improvement has been the purchase of an English-made Merlin Bow, which has helped him shoot straighter than in the past.
"They are one of the best bows around,'' he said.
"It cost me $3000 but it has been worth it because I have improved my accuracy,'' he said.
Bowhunting has become a way of life in the Smoothy household, with Kevin's 13-year-old daughter Jessie taking up the sport to become one of Gladstone's most talented juniors.
"Jessie started not long after me and she has a lot of talent. She really loves being part of the club,'' he said.
Jessie is one of a collection of juniors providing growth to the local bowhunting club with numbers having grown to more than 100 this year.
"The club is building in popularity and that is great for the future of the sport in Gladstone,'' he said.
Smoothy is also preparing for next year's Australian championships in Charleville, where he is hopeful for a strong perfor-mance that will be more than enough to book an Australian berth.