BUT for a stroke of luck, Hope Greenwood’s life would have panned out very differently. The 26-year-old is one of Britain’s top compound archers but without a chance meeting during her freshers’ week at Edinburgh University in 2009, it is likely she would never have picked up a bow.

“I went to the Freshers’ Fair and there was a friendly guy on the archery stand who asked me if I wanted to have a go,” Greenwood recalls. “I got addicted straight away. It’s funny how things work out though because it’s the luckiest and best thing that’s ever happened to me, stumbling across archery.

“Had I gone to a different university, it could all have been so different because Edinburgh Uni is fantastic for archery – it’s got the best facilities of pretty much anywhere I’ve ever seen, and has one of the best coaches in the world and a competitive club. If I hadn’t tried it out that freshers’ week, I’d have a completely different life.”

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Greenwood may have discovered archery relatively late but she made rapid progress through the ranks and is currently finalising her preparations for the World University Games which begin next weekend in Taipei, with the Scot one of 111 British athletes representing Team GB in 11 sports.

Greenwood already has experience of the World University Games, having been part of the British team at the 2015 Games in Korea, and her prior involvement only serves to heighten her excitement about being part of the event which will see more than 10,000 participants from 150 countries take part. “I’m really looking forward to it,” she says. “In Korea two years ago, being there with all the different sports and athletes was great – it was pretty cool to be a part of something so big. It’s very different from normal competitions as it’s really huge and the opening ceremony is just enormous.

“Last time, I went and watched some other sports like badminton and diving so I’m really looking forward to being part of an event with such a good atmosphere.”

Greenwood is currently in the midst of a master’s degree in performance psychology and with the mental side of things so vital in archery, she has the added benefit of being able to apply what she is learning to her own performance.

“I really like my course and it’s very interesting to apply it in practice,” she says. “We do case studies about dealing with stress in competition and trying to get the best out of every performance so I think about that when I’m getting ready to shoot. You find some things work and some things don’t so it’s good to try different things out.

“Archery is very mental – I like that about it. It’s also a really frustrating sport though, as any archer would say. It depends on the day but, most of the time, my mental game is pretty strong. You can sit and shoot arrows and it takes you away from the rest of the world and that’s what I like about it.”

A career highlight for Greenwood was her rise to the top of the British rankings last year which was, she admits, a significant confidence boost. With self-belief a vital quality in a sport in which fine margins can make a huge difference, it did her form no harm at all.

“Confidence has a big part in archery,” she says. “You wake up some days and think, ‘Yeah, I can shoot 10s today’ and that’s a nice feeling.

“And whenever I compete in national tournaments now, I always feel like I’m in with a chance, which is a really good feeling to have.”

This year has seen Greenwood take on a heavy competition schedule which she has to combine with training, studies and a part-time job which isn’t, she says, always easy. “It doesn’t leave much time for a social life,” she laughs. “Sometimes my friends will text me asking if I want to go to the pub and I’ll be like, ‘I’m in Germany, but definitely next week!’ “It can be quite a juggle to make everything work but I get a bit of funding through the university and Scottish Archery are really supportive so I manage to get a balance.”

With compound archery not an Olympic discipline, Greenwood does not have the Olympics on her list of targets. Instead, the World Games, which also takes place every four years, is Greenwood’s long-term aim, as is a medal at the European Field Championships. Before that, however, she has her sights set on making a real mark at the World University Games.

“Making the top eight is my goal at the World Uni Games, that’s where I’d hope to be,” she says. “But I always try to set my targets more by aiming for a certain score because that’s all I can control so if other people shoot better than me, there’s nothing I can do about it.”