Tributes have been paid to ‘rare and special’ long-standing Barnstaple Archery Club chairman Estelle Edwick, who has died at the age of 46.
As well as being a pivotal member and coach at the Barnstaple club, Edwick excelled at the sport, representing Devon and Cornwall Archery Society (DCAS) and becoming a team captain, and representing England after becoming a top-10 archer in the UK.
Born in Kent, Edwick started her career in the 1980s, starting with Sevenoaks Archery Club before progressing to the Kent junior team.
She moved to Devon from Yorkshire in 2002 and joined Barnstaple Archery Club, which had been founded three years earlier.
Edwick became more and more involved in the club and its running, taking on the role of chair with great enthusiasm. She helped the club grow into a key part of sport in and around the town.
A statement from Barnstaple Archery Club said: “Estelle was foremost someone who properly listened to others at work, as an archer, coach and friend.
“Barnstaple Archery Club will, forever, be in Estelle’s debt and sorely feel her loss.
“The archery world is shocked and heartbroken at the loss of our rare and special lady and extend their love to Estelle’s husband, Dave, and family.”
Outside of the club, Edwick became a top-10 ladies archer in the UK, leading to her representing England, including as part of a team for a test event prior to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India in 2009.
With DCAS, Edwick became a member of the county team for several years before taking on the role of team captain. The DCAS team enjoyed plenty of success, winning inter-county events consistently over the last few years.
An enthusiastic and extremely able archer, Edwick encouraged fellow archers to aspire to and achieve more than they thought possible.
After her illness led to her sight failing in her right eye, rather than give up her beloved sport, she adapted by changing her bow hand.
As a coach, she helped introduce the sport to new audiences, from have-a-go archers at the North Devon Show, to children and young people taking part in inclusive sessions at the Devon Ability Games, as well as helping to hone the skills of those hoping to develop through beginner and improver courses with Barnstaple Archery Club.