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4 September 2009 - Alison WILLIAMSON (GBR): “I can always do better and improve”

Archers/Officers > Tab (Inv) > Interviews > 2009 > 0904 WILLIAMSON Alison (GBR) [English]
Alison WILLIAMSON (GBR): “I can always do better and improve” Ulsan (KOR) – 4 September 2009  
Alison WILLIAMSON from Great Britain is one of the most experienced archers on the circuit. Throughout her long career, she competed in several world championships, World Cup events and the last five Olympic Games, winning the bronze medal at the 2004 Games in Athens. She is now Chairman of the FITA Athletes’ Committee. We met Alison in Ulsan where she is competing at the 2009 World Archery Championships.
How did you start working in the Athletes’ Committee of FITA? It was a long time ago. I started because I wanted to see things improve and move forward. Sometimes, in the past, I felt that the athletes were not given proper consideration.
I am now Chairman of the Athletes’ Committee that consists of five members. I was elected during the 2007 World Archery Championships in Leipzig and re-elected at the World Field Championships last year.
Please tell us more about the role of the Athletes’ Committee. If there are any rules or bylaws that need to be changed, FITA contacts the Athletes’ Committee and we make suggestions regarding these rules and bylaws. We go and gather the thoughts of the athletes in order to give feedback to FITA. We all have different areas of experience that we can call on.
Also we try to see what the athletes need and give feedback to FITA. For example, in the past the Opening Ceremonies used to be very long and the athletes had to stand and wait for a long time during the speeches, sometimes for more than one hour... We made this change over the years and now we have to stand for maybe half an hour. We appreciate that. Our committee achieves many little things like that and we will try to be more proactive in the future.
What is your opinion of the new rules approved by the FITA Congress last week-end? How will they affect the evolution of archery? The new rules are interesting. Concerning the competition format, it has been long recognized that if Compound wants to go to the Olympics, it has to be different from Recurve and evolve separately. It will be interesting to see the outcome of the new rules.
What do you think of the new World Archery logo accepted at the FITA Congress? It’s interesting. I like its colours, very vibrant and eye-catching. My teammate Charlotte BURGESS thinks that the shape of the logo should come closer to a circle, in order to make it look more like a target.
What are your expectations for the 2009 World Archery Championships? Personally, I’d like to shoot the best I can and obviously I want the team to do very well. As for the other competitors, Korea is competing on home turf, there are high expectations for them to do well and the home crowd will support them. Also lots of nations and individuals from countries we don’t think of might do well here.
You have been on the archery circuit for many years, competing in the last five Olympic Games as well as several World Championships and World Cup events. What can you say about the evolution of archery since you started competing internationally? I started my international career at the 1991 World Archery Championships. I think it was the first year that the Grand FITA round was replaced by the Olympic round featuring single elimination matches. So the competition format has changed and the standards have improved a lot. The athletes have become very close as far as scores are concerned. And everyone is getting younger except me! (She laughs.) But there are still some people – though not a lot –who competed from 1991.
   GBR Team What are the major changes that the introduction of the World Cup brought to archery? I think it is good to have a set calendar for the competition. It made archery more professional. You know in advance that you will go to x amount of competitions and that your competitors will be there as well. International archery became like a circuit. The standards have increased a lot and the overall level is better.
What do you consider the highlight of your career? Winning the bronze medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
At 37, what is your motivation to go on competing at the highest level? I can always do better and improve!
Please tell us about your life apart from competitive archery? I work for local sports partnerships that link sports with health. I try to get people that normally don’t do anything to add more physical activity to their life. The people at my job are very understanding and allow me to take time off from work in order to pursue my competitive career.
Thank you Madam and keep up the good work!
Vanahé ANTILLE FITA Communication