Thursday, July 20, 2017

John Womersley OAM

john_womersley_oam_sml1John Womersley OAM: Administrator, Judge and Archer

John initially became interested in archery in his early teenage years growing up in the rural town of Dimboola in Victoria. Moving to Geelong in early 1954 to take up an apprenticeship as a joiner, John purchased his first "man-made" bow in mid 1956 - a lemonwood Longbow made by Slazenger's of England, together with 24 wooden arrows. Without any knowledge of organised archery in either Victoria or Australia, he began shooting on his own in bush settings near Anglesea on the South Coast of Victoria.

In 1960 John saw an advertisement in the Geelong Advertiser newspaper calling for people interested in taking up archery and forming an archery club. Geelong Archers was officially founded on 16 May 1960 however, due to his apprenticeship examinations John was unable to attend the inaugural meeting, but he attended the first organised shoot. Over the years the club moved their shooting grounds eight times, finally locating to the grounds of Deakin University; where the dub has a targe target archery range and a 24 targets field archery course.

 Starting with a longbow, John has seen many remarkable innovations to archery equipment over the past 50 years and although he has shot all types of equipment during his long career he currently shoots a longbow.

During these early years John also moved into Geelong Archers administration and held the positions of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Recorder, Publicity Officer and Property Officer on various occasions.

 As a competitive archer he was Club Champion (Recurve Division) on approximately 17 occasions. On the national and state scenes, John secured a Silver Medal (Target) at the 1973 Archery Australia National Championships, together with a considerable number of medals at various Archery Victoria Championships and tournaments.

 John's competitive archery career came to an abrupt end in 1973 when he was elected as Archery Association of Australia President, a position he held for 16 years. During his tenure he oversaw many amendments to the Constitution, plus the introduction of the first National Coaching Program in 1977; together with the National Officiating Program in 1980. He was the first Chair (National Judges Director 1980 - 1985) of the Officials Committee, and was the author of the first National Judges Manual. John currently holds the position of Chair Constitution and Rules Committee (2005 - 2015). During this time John was also the Archery Australia Delegate to the: Australian Olympic Committee (11 occasions);Technical Delegate Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games; Technical Delegate Melbourne Bid Committee for the 1996 Olympic Games.

 John also held the position of President, Archery Society of Victoria from 1970 -1980 and also Vice President in the years 1983 to 1985 and 1992 to 1993. He was appointed as the Archery Australia Team Manager to three FITA World Championships and served a three year period as the Executive Director of Archery Australia.

 John as an International Judge in 1982 and went on to serve in this capacity for a period of 28 years. During this time John served as a member of Tournament Judge Commissions at twenty World Championships, three Olympic Games, one Paralympic Games, one World Games and too World Masters Games. On his retirement John was recognised for his exemplary contributions to international archery by being awarded the honorific title of FITA Judge Emeritus in 2007, together with the FITA Bronze Plaquette.

 Apart from the many positions John has held over the years, he was also elected as a member of the FITA Technical Committee (1983 to 1991), the Target Archery Committee (1983 to 1987) and Archery Australia delegate to the World Archery Congress on 11 occasions.

 In consideration of John's extensive contribution to the sport of archery in Australia and internationally, he has been awarded Life Membership of Archery Australia Inc, Archery Victoria Inc and Geelong Archers Inc. Additionally he has received the Order of Australia Medal, Australian Sports Medal, Australian Sports Commission Official of the Year and Archery Australia Official of the Year. 

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