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Archery craze is taking off

 
Created on 12/10/2011 @ 09:50

Last month, Lord’s hosted a rare non-cricket event but rather than the old school at the MCC choking on their sausage rolls, archery was welcome with open arms.

The historic cricket venue will host London 2012’s archery and the world’s best attended a test event which provided the normally ‘quiet’ sport with a fanfare of publicity on prime time news slots.
 
And it is that sort of publicity that every minority sport craves as they bid to survive and thrive in a busy modern day sporting schedule dominated by football and the likes.
 
That is no different locally. Archery has quietly gone about its business as an organised sport for more than 30 years but that could all change as Britain gets into the spirit of Olympism over the next nine months.
 
“It is a minority sport but one that is ideal for people who are not 'team' sport minded like football and hockey,” said Rikki Renshaw from the Hafren Foresters Archery Club.

“Although we have a club team, everyone shoots individually. It is good exercise and suitable for all ages from five and upwards. However, normally we do not take children under eight. It is a gentle sport for the older generation too. It is not a difficult sport to learn and you don't really need strong muscles; technique and consistency are the important things.”
 
The Hafren Foresters Archery Club started back in 1979 and today boasts around 25 members who take part in club nights in either Newtown or Llanidloes.
 
Rikki, who is a level one coach, has been involved with the club for the last 20 years and says more members are welcome to give it a go. The Club shoots indoors and outdoors (in Newtown on Tuesdays and Llanidloes on Thursdays) and has recently moved indoors for the winter.
 
The club shoots in the Shropshire County Archery Society which has Olympic medallist Alison Williamson on its books. But Rikki says it is the social aspect of the club that makes the sport appealing and hopes the Olympic hype will boost member numbers.
 
“We would like to expand the club so we can afford better premises in Newtown,” said Rikki. “The top floor is a long way up when there is no lift but it’s what we can afford at the moment. We are however looking at the possibility of shooting at Newtown High School in the future.

“Llanidloes provides a good venue and we can cater for disabled people there because archery is a good sport for wheelchair users.

“Through the year we take part in a number of competitions – both indoors and outdoors - although you don’t have to. However most of the competitions are quite informal and are good social events while keeping the discipline of a formal shoot.”
 
If you require more information, contact Rikki at rrenshaw@hafren1.freeserve.co.uk