Thursday, August 17, 2017

Keith Gaisford OAM

keith_gasford1_smlKeith Gaisford OAM - Administrator, Coach, Team Manager

Always a sportsman, Keith participated at top level profesional cycling, competitive swimming and gymnastics with his introduction to archery 47 years ago after an invitation with his wife to Northam WA...they have been shooting ever since.

Keith’s involvement in archery started late in life as “something to do” following participation in a variety of sports including top level professional cycling, competitive swimming and gymnastics. Interest in the sport of archery started 47 years ago when invited to the Archery Club in Northam WA, where with wife Edna they both had a shot and have been active since then.

Within a few months they were competing in their first State Championships, which embraced target, field, clout and flight archery and Keith went on to become a Master Bowman in three of those disciplines.

It was during the championship at an Annual General Meeting that Keith became Secretary of the Archery Society of WA and so started his archery administrative career.

Moving from the wheat belt country to Fremantle where there was no archery club, Keith started the Fremantle ‘Y’ Bowmen. This club was affiliated with the YMCA that afforded a host of young aspiring archers. The creation of this club gave ASWA three clubs in the Perth metropolitan area.

Aware that coaching in the sport was not very active or documented, Keith gained information from the USA and UK on coaching and prepared his own ‘How to Coach” system.

The 1967 National Archery Championships were held in Perth and although not ever having attended a “Nationals” he became the organizing chairman of the event. The event included all disciplines of Target, Field, Clout and Flight and also included an extra day of a FITA round to select a team for the 1967 World Archery Championships.

It was at this time that Keith became archery representative on the WA Olympic Committee and was to follow this association becoming Vice President for some 12 years. He was also instrumental in all State Societies affiliating with the Olympic body.

Keith was successful in winning State Field Championships for a number of years and performing at a high level in all disciplines. In all he competed in or attended as manager/coach, thirty nine National Championships.

Keith introduced Live-in Coaching Weekends in 1969 and this format has been followed at least every year since. The format included invited coaches from Eastern States, including Hans Wright, Rick McKinney from the United States and Jay Barrs, Olympic Gold medalist. Funding for these weekends was sourced by Keith.  Junior Coaching weekends were also introduced based on the US JOAD program and later Keith’s his own program.

On losing their grounds to a new highway, the Fremantle Y Bowmen moved to the City of Melville where by agreement with the Council changed their name to the Bowmen of Melville.

Keith moved to Papua New Guinea on a teaching contract and was instrumental in refreshing the Port Moresby Archery Club where he founded an archery ground with the local rifle club. The PNG Archery Society was then affiliated with Australia through the Archery Association of North Queensland. Coaching grants were obtained through the Rothmans Sports Foundation and Coaching weekends were organized in Lae to further archery development.

On return to Western Australia, Keith established an archery complex on 48 acres at Baldivis. This complex included a 90m target area, a 28 target Field course and eventually included a 30m Indoor Archery facility. The area was also developed as a public archery participation park.

Keith, in collaboration with Len Wilson and Fred Gavin established the new target rounds for Archery Australia embracing the change to the metric system.

Working with coaches from each State (Bernie Adams, Bob Rawlins, Hans Wright, Gordon Pawson and Denis Kerrison) Keith was involved in the establishment of a uniform coaching system for Australia.

At the 1977 World Target Championships in Canberra, as announcer Keith was the Master of Ceremonies of the event.

Elected as Coach to the 1979 World Championships in Berlin, Keith was also selected as Section Manager of the Australian Olympic Archery Team to Moscow in 1980. This was the forerunner of being selected as Manager of the next three Olympic Games Teams being Los Angeles, Seoul and Barcelona.

These Olympics were interspersed with teams to World Championships and Touring Teams to various countries in both Target and Field competitions. A highlight of these was the World Championships in Krakow Poland 1991 where Simon Fairweather did Australia Proud by winning and the Aussie team was placed third.

As National Coach from 1989, Keith was head coach with the AIS running development coaching camps for Juniors, Recurve and Compound Teams. At these camps coaches from each state were introduced to the AIS. His unpaid position ended with the introduction of a fully funded coaching position.

Appointed as a FITA Coaching Expert, Keith went to the Solomon Islands and Western Samoa where he introduced FITA style archery to these islands.

Interspersed through these years Keith has been ASWA President, Secretary, Coach, Publicity Officer, WA Sports Federation and WA Olympic Delegate. He has also been President and Secretary at various times of the Baldivis Archery Club.

As an International Judge with FITA, Keith has judged at the 1987 SGIO Games, 1988 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane and the FITA World Target Championships in Seoul 1987.

Keen on public relations Keith was for many years, the Editor of the WA Archer magazine as well as contributor to many publications.

Awarded an OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia) in 1981, Keith was also awarded WA Citizen of the Year (CitWA) in 1991 and was Archery Coach of the Year for the WA Sports Awards 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, and Administrator of the Year 1995. The WA Sports Federation awarded Keith an Award of Merit in 1991 and a Certificate of Service 2004.

Keith is a Life member of the Baldivis Archery Club, Archery Society of WA, Archery Australia and the WA Olympic Committee.He continues to coach and administer at State and Club Level and enjoys shooting recurve at his club.

Our Next Events

There are no events at this time

AAHoFM Sponsors