Mel Clarke

Mel Clarke Paralympic PreviewMel is a hugely successful international archer. She discovered archery whilst looking for outdoor activities for her Girl Guides group. She undertook a beginner’s course and quickly progressed. Just 18 months later, Mel was shooting at county level and was spotted by the head of the GB Paralympic team.

In 2003, Mel became the first disabled archer in Europe to represent her country on the able–bodied team, but, a few days into the tournament she was struck down with Lyme disease. Mel was left fighting for her life, subsequently suffering from paraplegia and loss of sight in one eye. Doctors told her she would never compete again and, with blindness in the eye that Mel aimed with, her career appeared to be over.

Mel was determined to continue shooting and worked tirelessly with her trainer to recover. She developed a new approach to archery, tilting her head over in order to be able to aim correctly. Perseverance, hard work and tears followed but Mel’s ‘never give up’ approach saw her winning the Para World Championships just two years later.

During her distinguished career, Mel has won Club, County, Regional, National, European and World Championships and holds many World Records.

In 2008 Mel represented GB at the Paralympic Games, where she won a bronze medal, and equalled the Paralympic record in her discipline. At London 2012, Mel finished one better, adding a silver medal to her collection.

On her appointment as an Athlete Mentor for Sky Sports Living for Sport, Mel comments: “I want to visit as many schools as possible, and I’m looking forward to hearing young people’s stories. I was previously an ambassador for sport for my county and I have seen the positive impact sport can have on the younger generation.

"I enjoy passing on my experience and knowledge to others in the hope of getting more young people interested in sport. Sky Sports Living for Sport is a great opportunity for pupils, who may not otherwise have had access to sport, to get involved.”

Sporting Achievements:

  • Paralympic Silver & Bronze Medallist
  • Multiple World Record Holder