Archery offers a popular, flexible, low impact sport, which provides moderate, low-key exercise and a chance to mix with a friendly bunch of people of all ages and backgrounds - it is a truly inclusive sport. It does not require high levels of fitness to simply have a go and enjoy.
At the Bowmen of Backworth we have archers of all shapes and sizes, aged from nine to over eighty years old. The able-bodied or not so able bodied (including visually impaired and wheelchair archers) can all learn to shoot and enjoy it either recreationally or competitively alongside each other.
It is an ideal sport for families and we have a number of family groups and other archers who are supported by non-shooting family members.
Is archery safe?
Archery clearly has a potential danger after all a bow is a weapon but Archery is a very safe sport when performed correctly and we are governed by the Archery GB’s Rules of Shooting. Archery is actually one of the safest sports practiced in the UK today. We have level 2 and level 1 Archery GB qualified coaches with plenty of years of coaching experience with adults, children and impaired archers. W can provide expert coaching to people who have never shot archery before and are coming for any of my recreation sessions; Have-a-Go’s or parties. We also provide experienced archers with expert coaching to improve their own techniques and performance. All of our ranges are approved for safe archery.
Are you insured?
Yes, Archery GB insures Beginner for up to six visits to our venues; thereafter you are required to join an Archery club to continue. It need not be our Club but we hope it is. Your coaches will explain more if necessary.
Visiting Archers will be required to show a valid membership card from their National Archery Association.
Can anyone take part?
Almost anyone can take part in archery. There is no upper age limit but we will look at every young Juniors to see, if in our opinion, they can shoot without harm. Juniors under 14 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Many impairments can also be catered for (including wheelchair users and those with Visual Impairments (VI’s)). However please notify us in advance so we can ensure the impaired archers are suitability catered for. We can arrange for any specific equipment that may be needed to ensure the success of the session.
Am I too old for archery?
There is no maximum age for archery; plenty of people take up the sport after retiring.
What is the minimum age for an archer?
This is linked to ability to draw the bow and loose the arrow rather than age. We have trained archers as young as eight. Please contact us for advice.
My eyesight is poor, can I still do archery?
Yes. Many Visually Impaired Arches from those with some difficulty seeing to those are totally without sight shoot for enjoyment and in competitions. There is much equipment and coaching to help. Depending on the degree of sight loss we ask that they are supported by a helper at all times.
Beginner Course FAQ's
Don’t panic we have all started where you are now!
We are here to help and guide you into our wonderful sport.
What does it cost?
£60 for 3 to 4 sessions lasting 2 to 3 hours (depending on the candidate and the weather).
Payment is by cash or cheque along with the completed application form. Cheques made payable to the Bowmen of Backworth.
Are you insured?
Yes, Archery GB insures Beginners for up to six visits to our venues.
For the convenience of our Beginners we normally run two separate courses: one on Wednesday evenings (from 6:30pm) and the other on Saturday afternoons (from 1pm). Our last course is usually in October and is a single course held only on Saturday afternoons.
Please get ahead of the start time so you will be able to get your kit out and be ready to shoot. Please be at least half an hour early on your first day to allow us time to sort out your bow etc.
Is there an age limit?
There is no upper age limit, but we will look at very young Juniors to see if, in our opinion, they can shoot without harm.
Can I leave my child and collect at the end of the session?
No. Where junior archers (under 14) are involved, we require a responsible person (minimum 18 years old) to supervise during the whole session. For parties, one responsible person for every four children is required.
Are there any restrictions to taking part in archery?
Because archery is a physical sport we unfortunately have to have some restrictions on taking part. These are:
- If archery could be detrimental to your physical wellbeing.
- If you are physically incapable of drawing a bow.
- If you are not capable of comprehending and acting upon safety instructions.
- Lack of concentration, particularly in younger Beginners.
- The Club reserves the right to end the course for any Beginner if, in the opinion of the Club, there could be a breach of safety.
What sort of bow will I be shooting on the course?
Our beginners all start with the 'Recurve' bow, which is the same type shot in the Olympics. You will learn the basics of archery starting with this type of bow and it will a good grounding allowing you to progress further with it or any other discipline (i.e. the longbow, American flat bow or the compound bow) at a later stage.
Is archery a strenuous activity?
Archery is a “low impact” physical sport. You will be allocated a training bow of relatively light poundage (draw weight), but you will be using muscles that you don't normally use. We will show you how to warm-up. There is a considerable amount of walking involved in collecting your arrows once you have shot them, hence the need for sensible shoes.
Will I be able to join the Club after the course?
Yes and there is a discount for Joining within 4 weeks of our course ending.
Do I need my own the archery equipment?
No, we provide everything you need on the course, plus an archery book and two items of equipment for you to keep. We strongly recommend that you DO NOT buy any archery equipment until you pass your beginner course and become established in the Club. The coaches will “measure you up” and talk to you about which path you would like to take and the equipment you will need.
What should I wear?
You must wear closed toe shoes - no sandals, flip flops etc. Flat sturdy footwear is advised. Wear something reasonably tight on top to avoid the bow string catching. Long hair may need to be tied back and remember you are in a field so, dress appropriately for warmth. Do not wear any jewellery or anything that may be caught by the string. Waterproofs are a good idea and remember your sun-block and sunglasses - you may be lucky enough to need them!
Archery etiquette requires that shoulders and tummies must be covered.
No offensive or inappropriate logos may be displayed on any clothing.
What if it rains?
We will be there whatever the weather. Shooting can carry on in all weathers, but if you don't want to shoot in the rain just say so. We only stop for thunder storms (lightning), high winds and poor visibility.
Can I use my own equipment?
Bring it along and we will check it over and see if it is suitable for you on the Beginners Course.
Why do I need to do the course?
This club and the archery world in general needs to be confident that you know all the safety rules and can shoot without supervision before you can join the Club. If you progress fast you can join the Club early.
Will I get a Certificate?
Yes. As long as we are satisfied you can shoot safely and without undue supervision we give you a certificate. Your beginners’ certificate will be recognised nationally and internationally as evidence you are safe to shoot.
How qualified are your coaches?
All our coaches are fully qualified and certificated Archery GB Level 2 and Level 1 coaches (not Archery leaders or instructors) with enhanced CRB clearance and child protection course certification. Our coaches are backed up by some of our experienced Senior Archers. As well as coaching archery, our coaches shoot regularly, recreationally as well as competitively.
Can I buy my own bow?
Yes, but until you have taken and passed a recognised beginners' course you will be unable to use it on any Archery GB approved range. We strongly advise that any Beginner/Novice does not purchase any equipment until passing the beginners' course and has sought advice from our Club coaches.
The Club has a number of bows which can be hired at a nominal charge until such time that members feel confident to go forward. Our coaches will measure you and advise the type, size power of the equipment that is best for you. The club normally has a number of "pre-loved" bows available for sale which can be tailored to your requirements.
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