First island games for young archer Karen

Shetland’s sharp-shooting archers have an action-packed schedule Gotland, and this year’s games will be particularly special for veteran Keith Lobban.

Keith is not the only Lobban aiming for success, his daughter Karen will be joining him for her first island games.

Island Games archers Karen and Keith Lobban. Photo: Kevin Jones

Gotland will be Keith’s 11th time competing at the games, and he has happy memories of his time on the Swedish Island back in 1999.

Seafield has been home to the archers for the build-up to the games and shooting outdoors has given an opportunity to practise some long-distance shooting before the run-in.

“I was in Gotland last time they held it there,” said Keith.

“It was windy but it was fine and warm as well. If it’s warmer it’s better, you don’t have to wrap up,” he smiled.

“There’s nine archers from Shetland. We’ve got two compound [archers] and seven recurve [archers].”

Karen said it was her dad who got interested in the sport and she started shooting at the age of 11.

Six years later she will be sporting Shetland colours on the island games stage. Archers, said Keith, had “a longer age span when it comes to competing” and over the years he’s made many friends through the games.

Archery events will be running for most of the week, with a busy day on Wednesday when the recurve events kick off.

Medal matches follow on Thursday with many back home cheering on the athletes for a shot at the podium.


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