Starting the 29th of September, began our annual archery taster sessions to welcome all those who were interested in becoming part of the club.
Starting with a welcome talk from our new captain Nicole, it was then the role of our equipment officer Tom to give a run over range safety and the kit, followed finally by the coaches Joe and Matt running eye dominance tests and splitting everyone into small groups. Depending on whether people were left or right eye dominant, this would dictate which of the 13 club instructors each person would go to, once assigned, forms were filled, and arrows were picked, leaving the rest of the session to shoot.
When shooting was able to commence, the beginners would approach the shooting line with their instructor who would then run them through the whole shot process, keeping everything simplified to begin with. Within a few arrows or so, the resulting groupings of arrows looked very positive for a lot of our new members, which historically is a good sign of performing well within our SWWU league! After getting to grips with the bows a little more, we ended the session with a little bit of fun in the form of balloons and sweet packets all over the target face (Because who doesn’t love the satisfying balloon pop when the arrow lands on target!). As a whole, everyone seemed to really enjoy the session which was fantastic to see, and from a committee point of view it ran very smoothly too giving the most shooting time possible. This same session layout ran for the following Thursday session, with an almost exact same response as before. As of the end of this session, the tasters were over and the initial training would begin.
The initial training lessons were limited to beginners only, and within these the instructors taught each of their novices in the methods of setting up and down the bow, maintenance, and most importantly how to shoot it with correct technique! This all began using the club equipment in a barebow format, helping to teach the essentials such as back tension, a smooth release, and aiming correctly. After 3 weeks the bowstyle was changed to recurve, adding an adjustable sight and longrod changing the feel and increasing the ability to aim on a more finite point! This style was trialled by everyone for the next 2 weeks until the end of the 5 week training scheme. By the end of this I can safely say everyone has picked a style they enjoy, and can shoot in a safe and accurate manor!