“Tea and Biscuits and a bit of Archery”
Ever since visiting my cousin in Sussex last year and hearing about his love for long bow archery, I’ve been keen to learn more about the sport.
I’ve often seen the targets and safety warnings when walking my dogs around the edge of the rugby fields in the Rylands, so I decided it was time to find out more about the activity happening on my doorstep.
Chugs (Beeston Rylands Archers Club Secretary) had kindly offered to let me have a go at archery, but unfortunately a rugby match had been arranged where they train (Nottingham Casuals Rugby Club), so Chugs, Lizzie (Chairperson), and Jason (Treasurer) met me on a Friday evening in a wonderfully busy Boat and Horses for a chat.
What immediately struck me was their genuine warmth and respect for each other and their mutual love of the sport. They were keen to talk to me and explained that their club is like an “Archery Family” to them. Whilst they were committed to the sport, they clearly loved the social aspect of archery, not to mention the tea and biscuits!
It was fascinating to hear them describe the different classes of archery and explain that it’s one of the few sports where someone very new to competition can shoot (shoot is the term used in archery) alongside the very best.
Some other facts they cleared up for me:
- You can take part at any age. You are ultimately competing with yourself.
- Physical and mental fitness is required and having a good strong core is important to success.
- Metal detectors are used to find stray arrows to ensure none are left behind.
- It doesn’t cost much to get started, as you can normally borrow club kit until you know you want to commit.
They ‘shoot’ all year round, and are reluctant to give in to bad weather, laughing at their mantra that “skin’s waterproof”. They always train outdoors on Sundays, but when the days are too short in the winter, they are grateful to be able to use the indoor facilities of Trent Vale Infants School for mid-week training.
So, what does it take to become a good archer? The gang all agreed that patience, commitment, and a positive mindset are required. Archery is all about self-improvement, and focus. In return they benefit from an activity that they described as fun, relaxing and mindful.
How can you get into this sport?
Beeston Rylands Archers operate a four-week beginners course (8 hours in total), this provides the minimum hours and a set criteria (including safety) required to take part in the sport.
Unfortunately, they are not planning any beginners sessions due to some exciting changes the club is going through in 2023. These plans will be revealed and brought to you by the Beestonian as soon as they are available. Until then, you can find out more about taking up the sport at nottsarchery.co.uk