My archery journey
by Marija Ljubinkovic
My archery career started in 2011 when I was 16 years old. And although many people think you need to take on a sport while you are still very young if you want to be semi-pro or professional at it, archery isn’t like that at all! As I said, I started 4 years ago and in that time I have achieved a lot of my goals, helped putting Serbia on the archery’s map of the world and am willing to do even more in the future! And this is how it all started…
It was late spring of 2010 when my dad decided he needs a pastime activity and picked up archery thanks to one of his working acquaintances. He decided to finish the basic training in one of the local clubs here in Belgrade called BSK. And every time after he got back from practice he would tell me everything he had learned and that’s how, day by day, I was getting more and more interested in the sport. One year after, I decided it was high time I give it a shot myself. And the first arrow shot from a small, 18-pound school-bow gave me an adrenaline rush I will never forget in my life! I guess that is the moment when you know if archery is your thing or not, right there, when you shoot your first arrow. Either you feel how special it is or you don’t.
The same year I started shooting with a recurve bow and had a really great time with it but after a few months I figured that compound was what I actually wanted. So I got my first compound bow in November 2011 and set my first goal as well! It was to break a four year old Serbian indoor national record for senior women. And thanks to a lot of dedication and practice, I did it, after only three months of shooting! After that I decided that I will stay dedicated to archery and try to become better and better.
Now, after those four amazing years that definitely made my life lot different, I can proudly say that I reached many of my goals – I am three times Serbian indoor national champion, four times outdoor national champion, holder of a total of 14 national records, indoor vice-champion of Denmark for the year 2015, two times winner of the Central European Cup (Central European Cup is a competition made as a lower class World Cup. It has four legs and the Finals. Each of the legs brings points for the overall standing and the medal for the circuit that can be acquired on the Finals. On the competition itself the competing countries this year were: Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovakia, Poland, Austria, Montenegro, Italy, Bulgaria and Romania). Also, I am a winner of a silver medal on the 2015 European Grand Prix in Bucharest, Romania which was the first senior international medal won for the country of Serbia in individual competition in history.
So, to all of you who would love to try archery but think that you are maybe a bit too old to take on a new sport – forget that! Archery is a sport perfect for all ages and if you are ready to find yourself a dream and work hard for it, it will come true!