Ron Smith 1910 – 1993
Ron Smith’s full was name was Ronald Grindley Smith. He was a member of EMAS and in 1968 was already one of the few GNAS Senior Coaches and a National Judge.
It was at this time that archery was informed that it was to be in the 1972 Olympic Games and GNAS was therefore required to have an Olympic Squad. This was totally new to archery and Ron, together with Dr William Kind, volunteered to begin organising one. Anne Smith and Ann Kind (their wives) were EMAS lady champions at this time. Between 1968 and 1972 with very little money the squads became iconic and an ambition to be aimed for.
Ron continued to be the Coach for the 1972 Olympic Team and took great care of the team during the dramatic events of the Munich Olympic Games, when some members of the Israeli team were taken hostage. Ron continued, as Coach, to spend a good deal of time helping the GNAS team through their problems on the return from the Games. In 1972 there was no other support, no Psychologists or mental coaches, just Ron.
Ron also went on to become an International Judge and in 1976 he was the Chef-de-mission and the Director of shooting at the European Championships in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire.
He carried on running the Squads, even without much money, and because of this lectures etc. would sometimes be held in his lounge, with refreshments provided by his wife. He was more than just a coach showing people how to shoot because he would instil confidence in everyone and he would teach archers how to win. Today there are specialists for these roles but in those days Ron did it all, unpaid.
When he finished on the Squads he still was involved in grass roots shooting at County and Regional level. He organised one of the largest events at that time, the EMAS Double Portsmouth indoor at Granby Halls, Leics.
Sadly Ron died in 1993 at the age of 74, and it was suggested, with the agreement of his wife, that EMAS had a permanent reminder of him by a Memorial Trophy. His wife was insistent that the Trophy should always be presented to the person who had done the most for the Region, other than by good scores, to reflect Ron’s contribution to archery.
This information about Ron, who was such a wonderful inspiration to many archers, has been supplied by Carol Crich, a friend, colleague, 1972 Olympic Team Member and former EMAS secretary.
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