Thursday, August 17, 2017

Murray Frith

murray_frith1_smlMurray Frith - Administrator, Coach and Judge

With 50 years continuous participation in the sport as an archer, a Archery Australia accredited judge, adminstrator at both club and state levels. Murray started his archery journey in 1961 aged only eight.

In 1961 an 8 year-old boy in Tasmania was searching the newspaper classifieds for a bike when he came across an advertisement for a “Come and Try” session with Launceston Archers. Next year marks Murray Frith’s fifty years continuous participation in the sport: as a recreational archer and tournament competitor, an Archery Australia accredited coach and judge, and administrator at both club and state levels. Archery to Murray is a permanent challenge, a constant fascination and, in fact, a way of life.

As the Launceston grounds were some distance from where he lived, Murray prevailed upon his parents to drive him to the park every week for practice sessions. Within a few weeks, the entire Frith family were “hooked”, and their interest resulted in several State records and championships. Murray broke records in all divisions as he advanced through the cadet, juvenile, intermediate and junior boy barebow recurve and recurve bow classes. He was awarded Master Bowman for both target and clout and was State Junior Champion. He has continued to participate in the Open Men’s and now Master Men’s Recurve classes in State competitions breaking records in Field, Clout, Indoor and Outdoor target divisions and gaining several places.

Murray has been an Archery Australia accredited coach continuously since 1981. Commencing with attendance at a Certificate Level 2 Coaching Course in Adelaide in 1980, he has strived to improve and maintain his currency with coaching principles, including attendance at Olympic Solidarity, High Performance, Pathway Program, and Presenters coaching workshops and seminars. At an early age, Murray took over coaching classes conducted by his parents at the Police Boys Club in Launceston, assisted with the running and planning of the Tasmanian annual state coaching camps at Port Sorell from 1986-1991, attended the Australian Institute of Sport as Trainee Coach for the Australian Junior Squad in 1993, and attended a coaching camp in Korea in 1995 with other Australian coaches to investigate Korean archery techniques. More recently, in 2007 he was the Guest Coach at the Southern Queensland Archery Society Coaching Clinic camp, in 2008 as High Performance Coach, he accompanied the Tasmanian High Performance Archers at the Australian Institute of Sport Coaching Camp, and in 2009 as President of the Archery Society of Tasmania, he attended the Archery Australia National Pathway Program Seminar in Sydney.

In 2005, the Tasmanian Department of Sport, Tourism and Recreation recognised Murray as a Coach of the Year finalist. Murray was also responsible for introducing the OzBow program to Paringa Launceston Archers, and then in conjunction with the late John Brown, expanded the program state-wide.

As coach for the Tasmanian Junior team, Murray participated in the National Championships in 1985-7 and 1992-3, and in the Junior National Championships 1994, 2000-1, 2005-6, and was coach for the Tasmania Team in at the Senior National Championships in 1994. To assist archers, Murray wrote State Training Squad Criteria (1985), Beginner Archery Program and Surviving a Championship (2003), Coaching a Beginner (2007) and Stepping Stones Pathway Program (2008). He also conducted the Tasmanian Government Adult Education courses (2001-2003) for which he wrote the course notes which are still in use today.

Murray has also been active in conducting courses to train archery instructors and coaches. As far back as 1986 he trained two groups of Physical Education students as archery instructors for the Tasmanian State Institute of Technology. More recently in 2009 he conducted two coaching courses for Burnie Bowmen and Paringa Launceston Archers in the north of the State, and Hobart Archers in the south, resulting in 10 additional coaching instructors for the State. Also in 2009, Murray held two community coaching courses for a new club at Geeveston.

Although he had been judging for some time, in 1989 when Archery Australia implemented the National Judges accreditation program, Murray became an accredited judge and in 2009 received his 20 years of continuous service medal as a national judge (including crossbow).  Whilst his judging has mainly been confined to State and Club tournaments, he was a judge at several Junior National Championships in the 1990s, the Director of Shooting at the 1995 National Championships held in Hobart, Director of Shooting for the Trans Tasman Challenge in 1998 and Chairman of Judges at the Trans Tasman in 2000. Once again, due to a shortage of judges in Tasmania, in 2009, Murray (in conjunction with Ray Denton , current Judges Director, Tasmania), conducted an Archery Australia Candidate Judges Course for Tasmania, resulting in the accreditation of 6 more judges for the State.

At the relatively early age of 20, in 1973 Murray took on his first administrative role as Club Vice President for Paringa Archers Launceston and whilst continuing in that role, in 1974 he was appointed State Secretary and Treasurer for the Archery Society of Tasmania. Since then he has served on a voluntarily basis, continuously in some form of administrative capacity at both Club and/or State level, including President, Secretary, Treasurer, Recorder, Coaching Director, Junior Director, Newsletter Editor and as Tasmania Olympic Council delegate. He is currently the President of the Archery Society of Tasmania (this time round since 2004), State Coaching Director, State Recorder and Tasmania Olympic Council Delegate.

Murray’s concern with attracting administrators to the sport prompted him over his last two years as President of the Archery Society of Tasmania, to focus on improving administration and communication resulting in the reintroduction of a newsletter, a revamp of the website, a more professional approach in conducting and documenting management, committee and general meetings of the society, and to encourage the clubs to do likewise, preparation of member information booklets and annual reports and ensuring that the roles of office bearers are carried out timely and properly.

Murray is a life member of the Archery Society of Tasmania (1986), Burnie Bowmen (1990) and Paringa Archers Launceston (1998). In 1992 he was awarded a Bronze Plaquette by Archery Australia in recognition of outstanding service to archery, and in 2009 he was awarded Tasmania State Award of Merit by the Australian Archery Hall of Fame and Museum.

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