Abbey Edge Grove Junior Indoor Tournament

inc. the Francesca Spelzini Memorial Shoot

Full details of the annual competition can be found on its dedicated website

History

‚ÄčThe initial idea for a junior only tournament came from the late Peter Newbery, sometime Chairman of Abbey.

Peter Newbery 

The team trophy was named in his honour in recognition of his efforts in helping juniors and in getting the organisation for the tournament under way as a means of celebrating Abbey Bowmen’s 40th anniversary. Edge Grove School, under Julian Craxton, became involved as they wanted an event to give their juniors more experience. The first competition took place on 4th November 2007 and was open to all juniors. The entry form set the tone for all future shoots:


Open to Juniors of all ages and abilities.
Based on a Portsmouth round (5 dozen arrows at 20yards).
BUT with bigger faces for archers under 13,
and HUGE faces for archers under 10.
Lots of trophies and awards to win.
With a raffle and spot prizes.
Come along and enjoy yourselves.


Edge Grove’s parents generously donated all the trophies.  The ‘medals’ were in the form of mini trophies and were very well received by the juniors, as they looked great and were something that they could display.  There were plenty of awards to hand out, with some age categories going down to sixth place.  This first shoot was held at St Albans Girls’ School and was completely full with the maximum number of 44 entries.

From 2007 to 2010 the tournament was run by Mick Perrott who was the club and county junior rep.  Following Mick’s departure from St Albans it was organised by Maggie Johnston from 2011 to 2013. A shift from October/November to March and a move to a different venue at Sandringham School meant that there was no shoot in 2014.  2015 saw Malcolm North as the new organiser.

A feature of the shoot is that the raffle money all goes to charity (mainly children’s charities) rather than to either club.

Francesca Spelzini 

From 2012 the tournament incorporated the Francesca Spelzini Memorial  Shoot. This was first held on 30th May 2010 as a memorial to Francesca Spelzini, a junior member with Asperger’s Syndrome who tragically died, aged 18, in 2009.  The outdoor shoot was organised by her friend Mary Perrott, who was also an Abbey member and a junior GB archer. Francesca’s father Paul donated a silver platter engraved with the words ‘Francesca Spelzini 1991-2009 Memorial Shoot’, to be awarded annually to the junior Recurve archer with the highest score. After the organisers left the area it was decided to incorporate the shoot into the Abbey Edge Grove Tournament, which seemed very fitting as it is solely for junior competitors.