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A tribute to former Archery GB Chair Dave Harrison

January 6th 2022
Sophie Meering

It is with the deepest sadness that we share the news that dedicated archery supporter Dave Harrison passed away on Monday 3 January 2022.

The former Archery GB Chairman passed away peacefully in his sleep.

Dave was a founding member of the club the Bowmen of Walker in the 1970s. Since then he had established himself as a national judge. All the while, he stayed true to his love for volunteering and organising, becoming an irreplaceable and cherished figure within the sport.

Dave deeply valued the growth and success of our sport, aiding the running of many British-held national and international tournaments. He wanted nothing more than to see everyone enjoying themselves and achieving their goals, particularly among the junior squads of which he was a passionate supporter.

As a result of his hard work and dedication, in 2018 he was awarded the gold plaquette by Archery GB for his services to archery.

There are few people among the archery community who are as well-loved and respected as Dave was. He was someone everyone knew, and who everyone wanted to get to know. His presence on any archery field, whether he was there as an esteemed judge, a valued member of Archery GB, or as a friend, made everyone light up.

Archery GB wishes to extend our deepest condolences to Dave’s family and closest friends at this difficult time.

Alex Wise, GB Archer

Dave Harrison was Alex Wise’s first coach and a close personal friend outside of archery to Alex and his dad, Chris Wise.

Alex said: “I am so thankful and grateful that he was able to be such a huge part of my life. On and off the field, my biggest supporter. Night or day he was there. You cannot replace a man like Dave, truly one of a kind.”

Tyler Fyfe, close friend

“To lose someone as special as Dave is to lose the one whose guidance and help you seek, who supports you like a tree trunk supports its branches.

“In losing him, we have lost the greatest blessing and comfort for he was always that to so many of us. He took the time to help anyone he could, whether that be on the archery field or off it.

“Let me tell you, he is the hole in our hearts. His loss is our scar. His memory drives us forward every single day, and we will carry him forever. Dave taught us that even our most profound losses are survivable. And that it is what we do with that loss, our ability to transform it into a positive event, that is one of Dave’s greatest lessons.

“The gift Dave gave us every day of our lives was he believed in each and everyone of us. Words cannot describe the loss we all feel, saying farewell to Dave. But heaven chose to give him wings so he could guide each and everyone of us on our own journey. We all wish we could have more time or even hear “ Gooood Mooorning Lilleshalllll” at 8am on the field.

“So Dave, to finish, we want to thank you. Thank you for all the years of guidance and advice you have bestowed upon us. You’re the one who truly molded some of us into people with valuable skills and talents. It was a privilege to work under your leadership and to call you our friend.

“We hope to make you proud of our future endeavors.”

Hilda Gibson, Archery GB International Relations Lead

“Archery has lost one of its favourite sons.

“Dave Harrison brought his Geordie accent and humour to all levels of the sport from grassroots to international.

“He counted it an honour to be elected Chair of Archery GB by the membership. In this role, he tirelessly led the organisation for eight years, as well as representing Archery GB at World Archery Congress and hosting Olympians at the 2012 Olympic Games at Lords. But he was happiest out on the archery field, whether at clubs or National events; helping set the field, changing faces and of course, commentating.

“Dave connected with and encouraged new and established archers alike and there was always fun and laughter whenever he was around. There’ll be a big Dave sized gap at many events in 2022 and many tales told of his jokes and antics. RIP Dave.”

Neil Armitage, CEO of Archery GB

“All of the Archery GB community are devastated by the tragic loss of Dave Harrison. He not only chaired the organisation through some dramatic periods of change but was also an incredible mentor, ambassador and friend to many.

“His unswerving dedication to our sport will be sadly missed. He had enabled hundreds of grassroots archers to take up the bow and will be remembered for his kindness and humour and for being a determined competitor.

“His energy as a volunteer enhanced everyone’s archery experience, from coaching to judging and of course we will never forget his unique commentary style which always left me smiling.

“Dave Harrison was an asset to the sport; an incredible man who will always hold a place in our hearts.”

Tom Dielen, World Archery Secretary General

World Archery secretary general Tom Dielen offered his condolences: “Dave was, for me, the epitome of a great volunteer in archery. He was always ready to help and he played a key role in welcoming the world during the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. Dave, archery will miss you and especially your eternal smile.”

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