a LIMERICKMAN who is a complete newcomer to archery has set himself the ambitious target of competing in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Inspired by the success of Irish boxing champion Katie Taylor in the London Games, Dave Walsh, 32, from Caherdavin, believes there is nothing to stop more people seeking sporting acclaim for Ireland if they put their hearts to it. Mr Walsh, now living in Dublin, spoke of his dream to reach the Olympics in just four years time on the Ray D’Arcy show on Today FM.
Speaking to the Limerick Leader, he said he has received a few “funny looks” from some people since talking about his ambition on the national airwaves, but has vowed to give it his all.
“I tried archery a couple of times on stag nights and activity weekends and really enjoyed it. It was never something I did with the intention of going to the Olympics. I had my first proper class on Tuesday and absolutely loved it, and I’ll be starting a beginner six-week course next week,” he explained.
He said his trainer - Martin Cunningham head coach of the Irish Amateur Archery Association - has explained that in order to reach Rio he would have to first qualify in the world championships in two and a half years time.
“I’m not thinking too much about that at the moment. I’m trying to keep my feet on the ground a little bit. I haven’t done anything athletic in about 10 years due to an injury. Martin didn’t brush the idea off at all. He said if I put in the effort, there’s no reason why I can’t do it. Time isn’t on my side, so I need to get going pretty quickly. But why not? It’s just something that came to me and I went with it. People were very supportive. If I get people behind me and enough encouragement and maybe a sponsor who knows. The next couple of weeks will tell a lot.” He is currently working in the auto-trade industry, after losing his job in finance due to the downturn.