If you've been thinking about getting back into archery - even if you haven't been on the range for a decade or more - it's now easier than ever.
Returning to archery after a break can feel daunting but many archers come back after years, or even decades off the range. If you've tried archery in the past, you'll know how good it can make you feel. Sometimes though, life gets in the way and even the things we enjoy get pushed down the to-do list.
Did you know that the main reasons people start archery are to try something new and fun, to socialise and to improve their wellbeing? A report on people’s sporting journeys has highlighted that 48% of women and 42% of men will stop doing physical activity at some point in their lives. This means that potentially millions of people are taking a break from their main sport - that’s a lot of people who aren’t finding time for that fun activity that helps them socialise and feel great.
You’re not alone in stopping making time for you. That’s why we developed Range Returners, to help you to return to the sport you love, to enjoy guilt-free activities that help you to take a break from day-to-day pressures and connect with others socially to feel part of the archery family.
Can you remember why you first started archery?
Whether it was the simple joy of hitting the target, being active indoors and out, or pushing yourself to achieve goals and be part of a supportive, like-minded network, can you remember why you enjoyed archery in the first place?
If you’ve been thinking about getting back into archery - even if you haven’t been on the range for a decade or more - it’s now easier than ever if you’ve been a member of Archery GB in the past.
A simple refresher session at your club will make sure you’re ready, and then off you go!
As a Range Returner you will be guided towards a club that will offer you a warm welcome. You will have the opportunity to work with the archers from the club for a welcome back refresher session. The club will work with you to remind you of anything you may have forgotten to help ensure you are ready to return to shooting.
The Range Returners program consists of between 1 and 6 sessions, depending on your ability. If you have extensive archery experience, you'll probably only need a refresher session, but if you completed a beginner's course and then stepped away for a year or two, you might need a bit more support and a few more sessions.
You’ll have the opportunity to receive help from other club members who will be able to offer you ongoing support and you can attend up to six sessions before having to become an Archery GB member!
You can find your nearest club, by visiting our club finder and registering your interest.
If you’d like to brush up on the basics, you can find beginner guides, a club experience finder, activity centres and news aimed at new archers. You can also read about two female archers' experiences of returning to the sport.
Archery returnee Patryk Podlas tells us about his happy return to AC Delco Bowmen at Eastleigh in Hampshire.
Why did you leave the sport?
I left archery for a considerable amount of time due to having other things to take care of, such as living on my own for the first time, focusing on my career and relationship etc. I just stopped going to the range and forgot about it.
What made you want to return?
I missed the times where I could just turn up to the field in the sun, and have a refreshing time away from the city where I live. I could completely relax and be focused solely on one thing – getting the arrow in the centre. I also found that I’m not too bad at this sport and wanted to continue to improve my skills.
Have you found it difficult to pick up from where you left off? Have you been able to access any coaching at the club, if you’ve wanted it?
I exchanged a couple of emails and phone calls with my coach Nick to get back into archery. Everything went really smoothly and I booked the slot through AC Delco’s Graham Hadfield over the phone, turned up to the field and started with the basics until I remembered everything. The whole experience was just amazing and really enjoyable.
What is it that you love about archery and being part of the club?
The uniqueness and competitiveness of the sport; the feeling when I draw the arrow slowly and focus on the target, and the feeling when it lands dead centre, over and over again. Archery gives me joy and a sense of accomplishment. It’s one of the things I think I could be good at. Being a member of a club where the coaching team is really supportive, always available and always looking to help other club members is really great. Other members of the club are also very friendly and helpful; it feels like a great community.
Does archery fit in well with your lifestyle?
Archery is something closely aligned with my personality; I would say that it does fit very well.
Find your nearest club and get in touch to see when you can drop by for a refresher session.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on the news section of our website and social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Instagram) for all the latest community updates and events, and do drop us a line directly with any queries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you're a club looking to get involved with welcoming people back to the range, we've provided some guidance for clubs and coaches.