19th October 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Sporting Chance – Dylan Murphy & Ewan Stirling

, by , in Sport

Dylan Murphy

Age: 38
Birthplace: Carmarthen, Wales
Medal tally: A big fat zero, so far . . .

A successful island games in Åland would be . . . To do myself justice, in contrast to Rhodes, where I shot abysmally.

Any metalwork would be an unexpected bonus.

I mainly got into archery because . . . It sounded quite Zen. Also, I was getting too old for other sports.

My best achievements so far have been . . . Raising my family. Archery wise, I did once beat the legendary Billy Finnie in a club competition. Mind you, that’s only because he helped me fix my bow halfway through, taking his mind off the task in hand.

A way of improving archery would be . . . An all-year archery range in Shetland with combined indoor and outdoor facilities, for those bad weather days.

Currently I most admire . . . Anyone who uncomplainingly remains positive despite adversity.

My main ambition for the future is . . . To improve my shooting to the point where I could compete for medals.

In my spare time away from archery I like to . . . Spend time with my family, and annoy them with my guitar playing.

Musically I like to listen to . . . The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Cream, Peter Green, etc.

I like to read . . . Popular science and philosophy. Ridley, Dennett, Grayling, etc.

And watch . . . I’m not a big fan of the visual medium, but natural history documentaries are an exception. Currently my kids are glued to Britain’s Got Talent, so that’s the last thing I watched.

The best films I’ve seen are . . . The Life of Brian.

My favourite actors/actresses are . . . None in particular.

My pet hates include . . . Organised unreason and superstition in all its forms – from crystal healing and homoeopathy to religion.

That and rudeness.

My favourite food and drink is . . . I like all sorts but my mother-in-law’s roast dinner with oatmeal stuffing stands out.

The best country I have visited so far is . . . Norway.

I would most like to meet . . . With unexpected success in Åland.

If I won millions on the lottery, I would . . . Wonder who had bought me a lottery ticket.

In my wildest dreams, the ideal way of spending a day/night would be . . . A warm Shetland weekend day – shooting a personal best, then coming home to Gulberwick to spend the evening with my family with the three children all behaving themselves well, simultaneously. The last bit really is in the realms of fantasy.

Anything to add . . . I would recommend archery to anyone, as it can be enjoyed by people of all ages and physical attributes, and succeeding at the sport depends more on mental calmness and determination than on intrinsic physiological advantages.

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Ewan Stirling

Age: 32
Birthplace: Inverness
Medal tally: nil

A successful island games in Åland would be . . . For us to win a sailing team medal, and for myself to gain a top five result in the Laser Standard.

I mainly got into sailing because . . . Most of my family sail and I was introduced to the sport as a child. Since then I have been drawn by the competitiveness of the sport and the people who are involved.

My best achievements so far have been . . . Fifth place sailing with Brydon Leask in the Fireball Europeans held in Shetland in 2005 and 10th in the Laser sailing in the Rhodes games.

A way of improving sailing would be . . . This is a hard one, locally sailing is fairly active with clubs all round Shetland and small groups of people working hard to continue the sport; we always need more volunteers and to get more people to try sailing.

Currently I most admire . . . The people who work hard behind the scenes to allow sport in Shetland to grow and succeed; Dee Caffari – the achievement of sailing solo round the world against the prevailing winds and again with the prevailing winds is awe inspiring; and Andrew Halcrow for his attempt to sail round the world single-handed in his home-build boat.

My main ambition for the future is to . . . Continue to sail and compete in short-handed sailing races such as the Round Britain and Ireland race.

In my spare time away from sailing I like to . . . Train and compete in triathlons.

Musically I like to listen to . . . Mainly folk music.

I like to read . . . Fiction and non-fiction, anything really.

And watch . . . Whatever is on but not soaps.

The best films I’ve seen are . . . Gone With the Wind (sad I know), Lost in Translation and The Abyss.

My favourite actors/actresses are . . . I couldn’t name any really.

My pet hates include . . . Road works in the town (again)!

My favourite food and drink is . . . Red meat and red wine.

The best country I have visited so far . . . Probably Croatia but they have all been pretty good.

I would most like to meet . . . Eric Tabarly, the French sailing icon, but unfortunately he drowned on his way to a sailing event in Glasgow.

So I would settle for Sir Robin Knox Johnston.

If I won millions on the lottery I would . . . Buy a big boat and go sailing round the world with the family.

In my wildest dreams the ideal way of spending a day/night would be . . . Sailing in the Southern Ocean.

Anything to add . . . Not really, but I would like to wish the rest of the Shetland team the best of luck at the Åland games.