Enrique Guío is 43 years old and was born in Madrid. After over ten years of being a biker, he left his Kawasaki behind and took up a new hobby, archery, which he has been practising for over three years now. A film-lover, he says he likes films that are not too intellectual and confesses that he went to see ‘Star Wars’ the day after its premiere.
He is passionate about Toledo, the city where he got married and where he has spent more than one night out on the tiles with his friends. He has his second home a few kilometres away, in Torrijos. Every weekend he starts his pilgrimage towards this charming village, in the vicinity of the touristic city of Toledo.
Our interview takes place at the Palacio de Pedro I, the multiuse building that is Torrijos’ Town Hall. We have arranged to meet here because they hold archery sessions on the old parade ground.
How did you start off on this unique archery adventure?
It was love at first sight. I discovered it at a medieval fair; they let me try it and I became completely hooked. So I now belong to the Pedro I de Torrijos Archery Club.
And when do you practice?
The championships and tournaments are always planned for weekends, as are the training sessions. I have all my equipment in my house in Toledo.
It seems to be an extreme sport to me. You need a permit, don’t you?
Yes, it is and you need to get a permit, since these arrows and this 45 pound bow can seriously hurt someone, so it is not a game. In the summer, we shoot outdoors and in a controlled compound like this one. In the winter, we always shoot in enclosed places.
Does the bag for the arrows that hangs from your belt have a specific name?
Yes, it is called a quiver and the finger protections are called finger tabs.
You remind me of Robin Hood.
You are not far off, because there are many different types of bows, but this is the one I became fascinated with: the traditional recurve bow. It has nothing to do with the more technological bows that have sights and other adaptations.
Archers were warriors in the Middle Ages, but they were replaced by new weapons. Therefore, we compete with an object that has apparently evolved very little.
By the way, you look like you wouldn’t hurt a fly. Are you as good a person as Robin Hood?
I have always been told that I look like a good little boy and the truth is that I caused no problems as a child and was a good student well, but you should ask my wife, who, at times, tells me that I have a bad temper.
I’m sure you’re not that bad. In any case, you give the feeling of being someone who is very correct, tidy and punctual.
My work colleagues tell me that I do not seem Spanish because I am very dogmatic (although there are Spaniards of all kinds). And the truth is that I am tidy, but not obsessive in any way.
Is your life on target?
Yes, a complete bull’s eye. I am lucky: I have a fantastic family with two small children, who take over my life at the moment and, on the professional front, I work in a multinational where I feel completely at home.
Tell me something about your family when you were a child.
My parents moved from a village in Toledo to Madrid and they become fruit vendors there. Retail fruit vendors. I spent many hours in the shop and when I got bored, I made up bunches of parsley. Although at that time it was a product that was given away free with your shopping, I offered these bunches to customers for a small donation. This is how I saved up a little money for a bicycle.
So your business sense came to light at a very early age?
Yes, it would seem so.
What did you study?
I studied Business Administration at the Ramón Carande Faculty, in Madrid.
¿Have you always been linked to the fruit sector?
The truth is, I have. During the summer, whilst I was studying, I started working as a clerk at Mercamadrid. And then I worked for a company in the sector for a few years, then I worked for another and I finally ended up at Zespri, where I have been working for nine years now.
And if you had not chosen this profession, what would you have liked to do?
In life, at times things come easy. My studies allowed me to work in different professions. I had the chance to work in advertising marketing, but I decided not to. And I have ended up in the “world of parsley”. (Laughter)
What type of books do you read?
As with films, I like science fiction. I am reading “The Eight” by Katherine Neville, after reading all Dan Brown’s books. Although I also read some historical novels such as “The White Company” by Arthur Conan Doyle.
What do you like about New Zealand, because I suppose you are lucky enough to have your airfare paid for you?
Yes, of course. I usually go once or twice a year. It is an incredible country, not only because of the physical surroundings and the small population, but also due to its people, without whom a global project such as Zespri would never have taken place.
By the way, in New Zealand they filmed scenes from one of my favourite films and books, “The Lord of the Rings” and I have been lucky enough to visit the film set twice.
Do you practice any other sport?
No, I stopped doing sport after a back operation and the truth is that it is difficult to get back to it. At the moment, in order to get used to the idea, I bought myself an activity bracelet, although my trainers are still brand new.