Louise : Final session of the beginner’s course

After the start of last week’s session it was fair to say I was quite nervous about how I’d start off this week. Would I hit the curtain again on my first shot? Would my arrow even stay inside the sports hall? 

These were all genuine worries, but my mind and body seemed to have got the hang of it. It was the last session yesterday.  I helped set up and then strung my bow. I was quite chuffed that I remembered how to do it to be honest, anything after that was a bonus. I paired up with Tim for the final time on the shooting line and we began shooting pretty much straight away. Diccon spent less time getting me to rearrange my arms or my reference point this week which I think meant that I was doing okay! My grouping wasn’t brilliant during the first few ends; it takes me a little time to get my sight lined up, but I eventually started to line up my shots. I’ve noticed that I start to hit the centre of the target, just at different points vertically! I hit mostly black and white rings during the first ¾ ends but eventually broke my streak and hit red. Fiona, a member of my group (in the photo to the left!) had a start similar to mine and then she hit the centre of the target. Another member of the group had perfect grouping on their target. It was good to see how far we’d all come since the beginning when we all thought the bow was heavy and we couldn’t get our reference point etc.

After a number of ends we had a competition. Last week in a smaller competition I came third after two ends (a score out of 60) which I was very happy with. This week our competition was out of 300 points which would be ten ends. Any mention of competition usually puts heaps on pressure on and I don’t do very well, much like in my Have-a-Go session all those months ago. This time, after so many hours and so many shots I seemed to be able to keep my composure. I wasn’t always on target (literally) and my grouping was still a little off, however I scored higher as time went on. In the end I came third again with 152 points! I even managed to get a 10 pointer at one stage.

One final tip that Diccon gave us to help with our shooting was to line up the string in the same place on the bow when the string is pulled back, using your foresight. I was terrible at this, this first time I tried the arrow hit the boss sideways and landed on the floor. I might leave using that trick until a further date!

At the end of the session everyone on the course was presented with a certificate of attendance, to show that we attended the course, spent six hours shooting and understood the basic safety protocols and would be able to join 2020Archery as a club member. Diccon gave us the information on what the next steps would be should we wish to join and everyone in my group seemed quite interested in carrying on with the sport and joining the club. One good thing about joining after the course is that you can request to have a buddy when you first attend a shoot, someone who has been shooting for a while and who can help you settle in quickly which I think is a great idea. There are a number of shooting sessions that we can book onto and equipment hire is included in the price of the session, so I don’t think I’ll be running out and buying all the kit just yet!

I had a great time on the course. Diccon was a great tutor and was very patient with us all and offered great advice and help. I found each week easier to get into shooting and forming my reference point and even the weight of the bow was less noticeable by the middle of this week’s session. I was also in a group of nice people who I hope to meet again at a club session.

So there we have it. The course is completed and now the next step is to join 2020 Archery and fulfil my dream of becoming a superhero.

Oh, and you see that photo of me there? My reference point is wrong. Don’t copy me, I’m only a beginner! Until next time……

To take a look at upcoming dates for the Monday evening course that Louise took go to the website here