WHEN Norman Suchorzewski first took up archery in 2006, he admitted firing his first arrow gave him that 'wow' factor.

Now, 10 years on, Suchorzewski is making sure plenty more budding archers are enjoying the thrill of the sport – and perhaps unearthing Olympians of the future.

Suchorzewski may have been 41 years old when he first picked up a bow but he has certainly made up for lost time.

So much so that he is now regarded as one of the best archery coaches around and the Accrington Archery Academy he set up two years ago has been given the official seal of approval by Archery GB.

The Caerphilly-born coach believes archery is one of the sports where you can rise to the top if you are prepared to work hard.

And he is the proof of the pudding.

"I was looking for a sport myself and my wife, Diane, could do together," he said. "I was in my early 40s at the time and we didn't want to do something too strenuous but, at the same time, we wanted to do something with a competitive nature.

"We eventually decided to give archery a go and I still remember the feeling of firing my first arrow. It was that real wow factor.

"Now my aim is to give other people the opportunity to experience that same 'wow' feeling."

Suchorzewski, who lives in Oswaldtwistle, was so impressed with the sport that he believed that everyone should be given the opportunity to at least experience the sensation of shooting an arrow.

Very quickly after trying the sport, he decided to develop his skills at coaching.

Suchorzewski, who teaches electronics and electrical engineering, discovered that once you understood engineering principles and have an ability to diagnosing faults, these same principles and thought processes could be adapted to teaching people to shoot at a very high level.

In 2011, he was one of nine coaches selected to work with the Olympic coach and a team of sport professionals at Archery GB’s National Sports Centre at Lilleshall in Shropshire.

Along with the other coaches, he helped to develop a World Class program to help young archers progress to podium potential.

After a two-year period, Suchorzewski decided that the North West needed this type level of coaching and a facility where archery can take place and employ these skills and techniques.

With the cooperation and support of Accrington Academy, in 2013 the Archery Academy was born.

Within two years of being established, junior archers from Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cheshire attended on a monthly basis. All who fully engaged with the training program witnessed exceptional results.

The success of the academy’s achievements has now been recognised by Archery GB and, as a result, they have now endorsed the Archery Academy as one of their official training centres.

To celebrate this union, Olympic coach Lloyd Brown visited Accrington to offer his seal of approval.

Norman has proportioned part of the success to the advice of skill acquisition expert Dr Howie Carson from UCLAN, who’s input has been essential to program and athlete development.

He has also employed the service of a further two coaches, Paul Roberts and Janette Wilcox – who he has mentored over several years – both working towards a degree in performance coaching.

"It was great that Lloyd came to visit us and see what we are doing and that we have been officially recognised by Archery GB," said Suchorzewski. "We are now part of the pathway that hopefully will unearth some future Olympians.

"It was always my dream to run a centre of excellence of archery and now that dream has become a reality."