Piangfan Naksukpaiboon April 2024 update

In late April 2024, the Fletchers Trust were proud to be in attendance at the Learning Difficulties and Autism (“LDA”) Leaders List Awards to support Piangfan Naksukpaiboon who had received a grant for archery equipment from the Fletchers’ Trust in April 2023. At the awards Piangfan  became a Learning Difficulties and Autism Leaders List award holder.. 

The award ceremony, held at Cineworld at the O2 arena in London, was hosted by Ken Bruce, and saw a number of Leaders List award winners recognised during the afternoon ceremony. The awards recognise those people with Learning Difficulties and Autism who are “changing our society, one person at a time”.

Piangfan has the belief that everyone can “shoot for the stars”, and as an openly autistic person in archery she talks about inclusivity to encourage more people to give it a go because representation matters. Her own words “as an LGBTQ autistic woman, a person of colour, and an immigrant in the UK I want to tell the world that it is possible for people to achieve their dreams”.

For Piangfan, the dream is to represent GB in The Olympics (The Virtus Global Games for people with LDA do not currently include Archery as a sport – although she is hoping this will change soon) and she recognises the need to train well to make this happen.

In archery, Piangfan faces a number of challenges that few of us would think about – there are lots of external noises – clickers/beeps etc, and there is the social side to the sport – spending the days shooting being alongside others who are chatting and talking around her. In accepting this challenge, she has been able to make new friends, and learned a lot from attending the big competitions, shooting alongside some of the top archers in the UK. She also finds it hard to deal with wet weather, but again she realises the need to shoot in all the weather types thrown at the archers and has developed coping strategies to meet all the challenges head on.

In accepting the challenge she has set herself to get to the Olympic Games, Piangfan has other aims too – she is in her final year of her PhD in Genomics, creating a model using cancer patient data to get the right medicine to the right people. Piangfan has always wanted to be a doctor in research to help others, and being autistic it is better for her to work in this area than to be face to face with people.

In her own words “Lots of people always told me that because I’m autistic, it’s impossible to study abroad and to get a Ph.D. But there’s always someone who says it’s ok, you've got this. We all need someone who believes in us, and I want to be that someone for others, which is why this award is so important.”

Piangfan has provided the following link for those who may wish to know more about the Leaders List Awards:  https://dimensions-uk.org/dimensions-campaigns/meet-leaders-list-award-winners/piangfan-naksukpaiboon/

The Trust are delighted to be able to support Piangfan in pursuit of her dreams and look forward to hearing more of her successes in the future!