Welcome to My Rally Campaign
- Hey Y'all! I'm Joella Bates, a 56 year old wife, mother, granny, and caregiver to my 81-year-old mother with Alzheimer's. I am passionatly eat-up with the sport of archery. Currently, I am competing primarily in women's barebow in the sport of 3D archery.
- My goal is to raise $5,000 in order to focus on preparing to compete at the top of my 3D game when I attend the World Archery 3D Championship as a member TEAM USA for the women's barebow class this September 15th - 24th in Robion, France.
- It is critical to TEAM USA that I first heal from knee surgery and that I focus on rebuilding the strength in the leg, so I can compete in potentially rugged terrain we are likely to encounter in the mountainous course in France.
- On May 5th while competing in a 3D tournament in Tennessee, I slipped going down a hill and felt a gut wrenching pain in my left knee and lower leg bone felt on fire. With each step, the grinding intensified the pain. I finished 20 targets; iced the knee, then finished the tournament. On May 15th, the doctor confirmed a torn the meniscus in my left knee and scheduled me for surgery. I began physical therapy in order to strengthen the muscles in the left leg which would speed up healing following surgery. On the third day of therapy, my mother had a mini-stroke. Since that day, I have found myself in the role of primary caregiver for my mother who is stricken with advancing Alzheimer's. Mentally, she is in a very fragile and physically, she is weakening. I am her security blanket.
Why I'm Raising Funds
- I am raising funds to cover backup equipment, airfare and travel to France, room and board while in France, Team USA uniforms, entry fees and other incidental expenses.
- My source of income comes primarily from my business, JOCAMPS - Archery Boot Camps; part time position as Assistant Archery Coach at Bethel University; Archery Instructor, Coach and Trainer; and independent sales for some outdoor industry companies.
- Because of the knee injury and subsequent knee surgery and necessary recovery time combined with the need to assume responsibilities as caregiver of my mom following the mini-stroke, I had to cancel several events that I count on to meet my financial obligations.
- The experience of competing on TEAM USA at the World Archery 3D Championships will give me valueable insight that I can share with other instructors and coaches I work with and archers whom I coach.
- Beyond just competing with intentions of bringing home the gold to the USA, I strongly desire to use my influence to recruit, retain, and reintroduce others to the sport of archery and protect our outdoor heritage. I want to share my NO EXCUSES; NO LIMITS message to encourage others to not allow others to impose limits on what they can accomplish. If at 56, I can do this; you can too!
How I Got Here ---
- My Beginning in Archery -- During the summer following my Freshman year at Waverly Central High School, I was introduced to archery while attending 4H Conservation Conference at 4-H Camp in Columbia, TN. I returned home after camp excited to to become a champion archer, but ran into obstacles while learning to shoot my dad's Bear Whitetail Hunter. After several days of frustration and many bruises from shooting a bow that did not fit me, I threw in the towel. It wasn't fun experiencing so much pain.
- Collegiate Challenge with Rifle Team -- I loved to hunt and continued to hunt with guns and used my gun shooting skills to earn me a spot on the University of Tennessee at Martin Smallbore Rifle Team. As a Sophmore, I received an athletic scholarship for the sport of Rifle, which allowed me to compete in both varsity and ROTC events. As you might expect, after excelling in the sport of collegiate rifle, hunting with a gun did not offer the same challenge that it once did.
- My First Bow -- After graduating from UTM with a B.S. in Natural Resources Management with emphasis in Wildlife Biology, our house was broken into and all of our guns were stolen except the ones in my dad's truck. My rifle that I always hunted with, was stolen. Bows were cheaper than guns, so my rifle was replaced with a 50 pound Indian compound bow with a 31 inch draw length. I caught the archery bug again, until the black and blue and purple too bruises squelched my enthusiasm for the sport.
- A Bow that Fits -- In 1989, a friend CHALLENGED me to get good enough with a bow to bowhunt and promised to take me bowhunting. By now, my dad had passed away and my time in the woods hunting had diminished. I had two children and as a divorced single-parent, my time for recreation was limited. But the idea that archery was getting the best of me was hard to swallow. My friend sent me to Odell's Outdoorsman in Cookeville, TN. Odell's was a Pro Shop; he measured me for a bow and helped me sight it in. With some excellent instruction, I left a happy girl (with a bow that was the proper draw length and an arm guard that protected me from string slap. With lots of practice, I got better and better. After 5 misses at my first two deer, I was more determined than ever to succeed at the sport. I filled my first archery deer tag with a nice 7-point buck. The archery bug has never left me and I continue to seek chanllenges.
- Shooting and Winning on the National Scene -- In 1993, I won the ASA Amateur National Championship and was honored to shoot the Classic with the women pros. The next week, I won my first IBO 3D World Championship in the Female Bowhunter Release Class. After winning my first Amateur World championship, my first motivational program that included archery shooting demonstrations and the opportunity for kids to come try archery with me was born.
- Turning Pro -- In 1994, I won the ASA Classic as a rookie pro. In 1995, I dominated while winning the IBO Indoor World Championship individually and with my team the Critter Getters. I repeated as ASA Women's World Champion and was the Woman Pro Shooter of the Year as well as being named Woman Shooter of the Year by 3-D and Target Archery Magazine.
- Injury Changes My Direction -- In 2003, I injured myself arm wrestling at the Harrisburg Sports Show. With a detached ribhead, torn chest muscles and a torn tricep in my right arm, my professional 3D competitive days were put on hold. My career was rediredted to focus on bowhunting, writing and seminars. I began hunting more; writing more and conducting more seminars.
- BIG 5 Challenge Met -- In 2009, several years after the horrible arm wrestling injury, I traveled to Africa and became the first woman to take the Big 5: lion, leopard, Cape buffalo, elephant and green-hunted a white rhino and did it in a 27 day safari.
- Introduced to Traditional Archery -- In 2011, while visiting Lindsey's Resort in Heber Springs, Arkansas, good friend and fishing guide, David "Mountain Man" Mitchell, introduced me to Traditional Archery with an old Ben Pearson bow that he kept as his cabin. Jake Scrape, a young man who had just finished guide school, offered to get me a traditional bow if I would shoot it. Jake and Gene Steed custom made me a selfbow made of bitternut hickory, deer sinew and rattlesnake skin. They named her "First Lady." After bouncing an arrow off a big TN buck, Tracey Whitcomb Balowski, the only lady bowyer in the USA made me a 46 pound St. Joe River Archery Longbow that I proudly began competing with in 2015.
- S3DA National Trainer - While at the SHOT Show, I got an email that changed my life. I was invited to an instructor training for the newly formed S3DA program in Tennessee. On Super Bowl Sunday, I became a certified Basic and Advanced instructor for the S3DA program. Soon, I was asked to be the state coordinator for Arkansas while living in TN. I began training instructors in May in Tullahoma, TN then began traveling all over the country training instructors to implement the S3DA program and start clubs. Mike Lundeen, the National Director, named me the National Trainer for S3DA. Over the next two years, I trained about 150 instructors and hosted several JOCAMPS Archery Boot Camps. The more I trained others, the better my own shooting got.
- Accepting the Traditional Challenges -- In 2015, I shot my first archery tournament in years, but this time with a longbow in my hands. After two, fifth place finishes at the IBO Traditional World Championship and as a Female Trad competitor at the IBO World Championship, I was introduced to the CD Archery Barebow riser. It was love at first shot....
- OH, What a Year! -- In 2016, I won all but one tournament that I shot against women including IBO Indoor World, Traditional Archery Society World; IBO Traditional World and the IBO World Championship in Female Traditional class. I capped off the year by claiming the title as IBO Female Traditional Shooter of the Year.
- The Ultimate Challenge -- Although my 2017 season has not gone as planned, the knee injury and subsequent surgery have me working harder than ever to become the best that I can be in a discipline that is extremely challenging. I am ready for the challenge. I am so honored to compete for TEAM USA in the women's barebow class as part of the first USA team to accept the World Archery 3D Championship challenge.
- I want to thank my forever coach Dan Hart for believing in me and coaching me in a way that built me up and allowed me to rise to the top of the 3D Archery ranks in both compound archery and now with in the traditional game with a barebow recurve.
- After being off the circuit, my energy was reignited with the introduction to traditional archery by David "Mountain Man" Mitchell, Jake Scrape and Gene Steed when they put a selfbow in my hands. Billy Lindsey, Sam Lester, Chuck Farneth and Tommy Garner were there when I said, "One day, I will win another world championship and it will be with a traditional bow." That day came in 2016, but I'm not through yet. Thanks to Melvin, Molly and Cody Erickson for inviting me to come shoot 3D at your place with my Saint Joe River longbow. It reignited my desire to compete. Thanks Cody for driving 2 hours to put a recurve in my hand.
- Special thanks to John Jackson and Global Archery for HELPING ME MAKE ARCHERY FUN!
- Marvin Carlston of Shooting Edge keeps protecting my bowhand from potential impalement from a broken arrow with his ProTX Kevlar Armored Hand Guard. And it absorbs sweat thereby keeping my hand in consistent contact with the grip on my CD riser.
- I also want to thank Calvin Smock and Dewayne Martin for putting the best barebow riser in my hand, so I could compete against the men in ASA first and now folks all over the world.
- I also thank Randy Kitts, the owner of Black Eagle Archery for introducing me to Zombie Slayers which have proved to be target seeking projectiles. Thanks to Blacky Schwarz for the most consistent points made. TopHats rock!
- A big thanks to Mike Westvang for the exceptional Dryad limbs that are allowing me to compete strongly against competitors with longer draw lengths.
- Special thanks to 60X Strings for custom making exceptional strings that withstand the brutal treatment they often get from me.
- Ted Harpham and Darton Archery for providing me excellent youth compound bows to start kids journey in archery.
- Special thanks to my husband, Joe Breneman, who encourages me and fills in for me as caregiver for Mammie, so I can compete.
- Thanks also to my archery family, my fellow competitors and my Sis who encourage, celebrate, challenge and keep the FUN in the game. TRAD shooters rock! Thanks to arcHERs and arcHER ambassadors for your desire to share the love of archery with girls and guys all over the world.
- Thanks to all my boosters and fans who have been generous in your support that allows me to share my passion of archery and pass it on to others while protecting our outdoor heritage. Please share this donation request with others and help me touch 100,000 folks who I can give the archery bug to. I want to use my influence to recruit, retain and reattract folks to become and stay archers.
Richie & Gina Davis
FIELD POINT ARCHERY