Kate Murray - Team GB paralympic archer
Here's some good news for those of you who've been staring forlornly at your remote controls since the end of the scintillating sports-fest that was London 2012. You'll be pleased to be reminded that the closing ceremony was merely a signal for half-time, so there's no need to settle for the tyranny of thrill-free mainstream TV just yet: the Paralympic Games are upon us.
Running from August 29 to September 9, the second part of the greatest sporting show on earth is set to receive coverage like never before, as the country taps once again into the feelgood factor engendered by Team GB's superlative medal haul of Mo, Jess, Wiggo and the many other overnight household names.
Among the most telling twists of the blisteringly exciting Games was how so many minority sports were propelled into the spotlight of public consciousness. Who'd have thought even in early July that dressage would (OK, briefly) feature as a topic for bar-room banter, or that exertions on the pommel-horse would foment edge-of-seat excitement on millions of sofas?
And in the wake of the Olympic archery competition playing to packed crowds at the venerable cricketing HQ that is Lord's, our paralympic archers are targeting even more success for Team GB.
John Cavanagh is 56 and lives in Wandsworth, south London. The London Games are John's fourth Olympics; his first was Sydney in 2000. And with 16 years as an international archer under his belt, John remains a genuine medal hope, having won a gold in Athens 2004, and a silver in Beijing 2008.
"I took up archery when I joined a local club after leaving the spinal injuries unit at Stoke Mandeville hospital," said John. "That was about 20 years ago. Since the Sydney Olympics the sport has come on leaps and bounds, and as far as the sporting legacy is concerned after London, in Britain things seem to be very positive and getting a whole lot better.
"The thing about archery is there is no age barrier. It's the same with all shooting sports. Whether you're nine or 97, you can still get involved. Archery has already benefited from huge coverage in London 2012, and I'm sure the Channel 4 coverage will be great and do it justice."
But doesn't John's chosen sport lack the pizzazz of, say, the big athletics, cycling and swimming events? He was having none of it. "It can be very exciting. The head-to-head matchplays are real cut-throat stuff. It's compelling viewing, as many will have seen on TV recently and in live competition.
"We can't wait to get started and the crowds are going to be every bit as big as we've seen of late. Medal-wise, we'll just have to see what happens. We'll of course be shooting as best we can on the day, and we as a team aim to put in our best-ever performances."
John is looking forward to pitting his wits against other competitors in the historic setting of the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, south east London, where the paralympic archery contest will be held. Those of you who enjoyed the historic backdrops to many sports in London 2012, such as Hampton Court, Lord's, Greenwich Park and Horseguards Parade, will be pleased to see another part of the capital's inexhaustible heritage take a bow, with the barracks dating back to 1716 when a Royal Warrant authorised the formation of two artillery companies.
The setting is particularly poignant for another Team GB archer, Kate Murray, who now lives in the Scottish borders but was born across the road - as in literally across the road - from the Woolwich barracks where she will be competing.
"What's more, the competition begins on my 64th birthday, and it's 64 years on from the London 1948 Olympics, so there are plenty of good omens," joked Kate.
Kate is a member of the Women’s Recurve team, and was a bronze medallist at the 2007 World Championships. "Recurve" refers to the way the bow has tips that curve away from the archer when it is strung. Her long path to the Paralympics began in March 2000.
"I was newly disabled at the time, and I was invited to a come-and-try archery practice by a friend. I must admit at the time I was feeling a bit sorry for myself, but then I tried it, and I was hooked.
"Archery is a totally inclusive sport. It's not expensive to get started either; the equipment is relatively cheap. There is great camaraderie among archers and the people who run archery competitions. They are a helpful, welcoming bunch, and in no way huffy."
Kate is banking on a big buzz to steer the British team to many more appearances on the podium. "I think we have a realistic chance of medals. We will be inspired by the reaction of the crowds, as we've seen so far this summer. Their enthusiasm is bound to be infectious, and will drive us on. The archery events were a sell-out in the Olympics and we're hoping for the same.
"Archery is a sport ideally suited to older people. Tall or short, young or old, it's open to all. After all, I started in my fifties. It provides a great opportunity for older people to take up something new; but if not archery, then there are other shooting sports that older people could try. It's important to give something a try.
"And I really hope the Olympics will inspire younger disabled people to give the sport a go."
* Foresters are the proud sponsor of the GB Archery team.
London 2012 Paralympics
Archery GB - Team GB Paralympics