Six reasons to give archery a go
We've joined with Archery GB to introduce archery to thousands of families at fifteen of our places this summer. Paralympian archer John Stubbs shared his six reasons to give archery a shot this summer.
1. It’s good for you
Archery can improve concentration and core strength.
Paralympian John Stubbs says: 'Archery is a mental sport. Whilst it takes strength to pull back the bow, really the sport is 90 per cent concentration, 10 per cent strength.'
2. It’s thousands of years old
Archaeologists in Germany have found bows and arrows dating back to 10,000BC. The modern sport of archery is around two hundred years old. It featured in the first Olympic Games in Paris in 1900.
The Victorians enjoyed archery. A watercolour at Belton House, Lincolnshire, shows an archery game being played between Victorian Lord Fauntleroys: Adelbert Brownlow Wellington Cust and Christopher Hulme Tower.
3. There’s something for everyone
Like shooting, there are lots of different styles of archery. They include Papingo – like clay pigeon shooting with arrows – and Clout, where you shoot at a target placed on the floor.
4. You’ll make new friends
'It’s a friendly sport', says John Stubbs. 'I’ve developed a big circle of friends through archery.' Around 45,000 people take part in archery competitions each year. Many more try archery at clubs and events around the country.
5. It’s Captain Kirk’s favourite sport
William Shatner, the Canadian actor who played Captain Kirk in the Star Trek series, is a huge archery fan.
6. It’s a family sport
Archery brings families together, says professional archer John Stubbs. 'When I go to archery competitions I see several generations in a family standing alongside one another. My own family are all involved in the sport; my son, partner and parents.'
Archery GB partnership launch
The partnership will be launched at Speke Hall, Liverpool, on 12 August by GB Paralympic archer John Stubbs. John, 51, lost his leg in a car accident 26 years ago. He first picked up a bow in 1993, going professional five years later. He won a Gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games.
" Archery has given me the mental resilience to face other challenges in my life, it’s given me something else to focus on."
Our top tips:
Dress right - You’ll be doing archery on a lawn. Wear flat shoes as high heels will sink into the grass.
Wear long sleeves - A bow string hitting your arm at speed will leave you with a nasty bruise. Wear an arm guard or long sleeves to protect your arms.
Stand tall - When you’re firing, remember to up stand tall – side on to your target.
Keep your arm straight - Focus your arm on the target and keep your chin up. I also like to close one eye so I can focus on the bullseye.
Breathe - Most people forget to breathe when they’re pulling the bow string back. Breathe out as you fire your arrow.
Find the right archery event for you - Like shooting, there are lots of different styles of archery. From Papingo – like clay pigeon shooting with arrows – to Flight, where the person who shoots the furthest wins.