There will be 4 Beginners Courses held throughout the year. Please contact the club to confirm the dates and times. The Booking form is available below.
I’ve never done archery before, can I still join?
Of course! We welcome all prospective new members, experienced or beginners. We run an instruction course for all new beginners which comprises 3 training sessions over 3 weeks. Each session lasts around 2 hours. This course will give each candidate all the basic skills they require and most importantly all the safety training necessary to enjoy archery. A training course of this type is often compulsory if you wish to join an archery club but taking this course with Fenland Archery Club will give you a foundation to join any Archery GB affiliated club in the UK. This course costs £70.00 for adults and £40.00 for juniors (under 18 years of age). If you join the club within 4 weeks of completion of the course then part of the course fee (£20 seniors, £10 juniors) will be deducted from the membership fee. Please note that completion of the beginners course does not guarantee acceptance of any future membership application. There may be exceptional instances where the club will not be a good fit for you or vice-versa.
These courses are run several times a year, according to demand. Unlike some other clubs, these courses are run by our Archery GB licensed coaches. Whether you choose to learn archery at our club or not, it is always advisable to ensure that you are being instructed by licensed coaches. Your safety is paramount – ask to see their certificates if necessary.
Within two to three months of completion of any beginners course, new archers are normally expected to have purchased their own equipment. If you decide to join Fenland Archery Club one of our more experienced archers and licensed coaches will advise you in purchasing your first bow from a reputable archery supplier. We cannot stress the following enough: please, please do not be tempted into buying equipment from the internet. It will probably prove to be a costly mistake financially and may result in injury if inappropriate for your needs. If you decide to buy second hand kit, then it is always worth ensuring that it is not on the Perris Archery stolen kit register.
Fenland Archery Club have a comprehensive range of training bows of all types which are maintained to ensure suitability for these courses. Subject to availability, these bows may typically be used free of charge for up to two months after any of the beginners courses.
Im not sure if archery is for me, can I try it first?
Subject to availability of personnel and time, the club is happy for you to have a go at archery before committing to our course. We may give you a supervised session by arrangement through a committee member. Due to the popularity of these sessions a small nominal fee of 3 may be charged, and at certain times of the year we may not be able to conduct a session ahead of a scheduled beginners course. Pre-arranged sessions will normally be run outdoors at noon on a Saturday. Other ‘Have-a-Go’ sessions are run throughout the year on an ad-hoc basis. It is important that you confirm your attendance at least 24 hours ahead of the scheduled attendance. Please remember; all coaches are volunteers, archery is their hobby too, and it causes disruption to sessions if you let us down, or turn up unannounced. You will receive advice on appropriate clothing, footwear, jewellery and piercing’s etc. ahead of your session. If you do not turn up for a pre-arranged session, we reserve the right to refuse to rearrange a session. Unfortunately we do not cater for drop in visitors.
Groups interested in arranging a ‘Have-a-Go’ session should contact the club Chairman or Secretary.
Please note that safety is paramount, and therefore we reserve the right to remove from the course, without refund, anyone who does not follow the safety procedures or who acts in an irresponsible way at any time during shooting sessions or not following instructions while handling the equipment.
What do I need to do to join?
In the first instance, you should contact the club Secretary to discuss a possible trial session or access to the beginners course. You will be required to provide some personal information when applying to join the club/course and must declare any conditions that may impact upon your ability to safely participate in archery. Under 18s must be accompanied by a parent at all times.
How much does the beginners course cost?
£50 for adults & £30 for juniors (under 18 years old) paid by cheque in advance – see above for more details. Once you have completed your course you will be offered membership to the club with a £20 discount for adults and a £10 discount for juniors. Please note that we plan our courses in advance, therefore you must confirm your wish to attend the course in advance of the first session as resources will be allocated according to confirmed numbers. We do not accept prospective members who have not confirmed their attendance on the course in advance. You will be required to attend all booked sessions.
Will I need my own bow to join?
Not at all. Archery equipment is generally specifically tailored to the archer and it is important to understand your archery style before you purchase your first bow. We therefore provide all the equipment you require to get started. Once you’ve completed your beginners course you may continue to utilise the clubs kit for up to 2-3 months while you decide upon the best bow for your needs. We have suitable recurve, compound and English longbows that you can try. If you wish to use the club equipment, you must arrive on time to get equipped. Once a member, it is always worth asking around as other club member may have kit to sell. We do not recommend the purchase of bows from on-line auction sites.
What will it cost me to buy my own equipment?
This is a difficult question to answer. It all depends on what you wish to get out of the sport and what bow style(s) you choose to pursue. Equipment prices vary an enormous amount from under 100 to 1000’s. Our licensed coaches will be happy to guide you in your equipment selection and you may find experienced archers willing to share their personal knowledge of how they selected and progressed with their own selections. Have a look at the links page for the archery retailers too, some will also sell used equipment.
Is there an age restriction when joining the club?
None at all. We accept juniors from 10 years old as long as they are accompanied by an adult at all times and can safely cope with the physical aspects of shooting a bow. The decision on the ability to shoot safely will be taken by our experienced coaches. Although we will make every effort to accommodate juniors and will provide low poundage bows, we will not allow juniors to take part in archery if they cannot safely handle the bow weights. There is no upper age limit, however you will require a basic degree of physical fitness. There are no physical barriers to participation and out coaches can help you select the most appropriate equipment for your needs.
Under no circumstances will unaccompanied juniors (under 18) be permitted to attend club sessions. We insist upon a parent or legal guardian being physically present on the range at all times.
What happens once I join the club?
All new members are accepted on a probationary period subject to acceptance by the committee. All members are required to adhere to the GNAS rules of shooting, club rules and any rules prescribed by our host school. Membership may be withdrawn at any time during the probationary period if serious transgressions of the GNAS rules of shooting, club rules and any rules prescribed by our host school occur. Please bear in mind that we are a club rather than a drop in shooting range and you will be expected to play your part in the running of the club i.e. setting up, putting away, maintenance and repair of club equipment.
You will be given a proof of membership (usually valid for up to 6 months) while your permanent membership is processed by Archery GB. You will be free to shoot at any of our club sessions on payment of the appropriate shooting fees (payable quarterly in advance by standing order, or in advance by purchase of 12 sessions) and compete at competitions within the UK on presentation of your valid membership card. Our licensed club coaches are available to help you develop your shooting ability and we encourage you to approach them for any assistance you may require. Parents or legal guardians accompanying juniors under the age of 16 will be expected to assist with range set-up/putting away of equipment.
Are your licensed coaches CRB cleared?
Yes, all our licensed club coaches and key members of our committee hold enhanced CRB clearance certificates. The club complies with Archery GB policy on the Protection of Children & Vulnerable Adults. Our CRB cleared members will not take responsibility for unaccompanied juniors.
Are your licensed coaches available to work with all archers?
Yes, all our licensed club coaches are active as part of the local, county and regional coaching structure. Our coaches are constantly improving their knowledge and ability to deliver best coaching practice through attendance of Archery UK, Community Sports Partnership, Sports England and other official sporting body events. They are all committed to continuous professional development as part of the renewal process for the coaching license. Please note that our coaches are volunteers and are also active archers. They are in the sport to enjoy their own shooting too. While our coaches are always willing to help, they will make their own decisions on who to work with or when they are available to coach. If you want coaching then it is up to you to approach a coach as our coaches do not approach archers to offer coaching.
Are you able to assist people with disabilities who have an interest in archery?
Yes, Disability is rarely a barrier to participation in archery. The club makes all reasonable efforts to encourage & assist members with disabilities. Our range at Sir Harry Smiths Community College has disabled access and toilet facilities. Our licensed coaches have received training in assisting individuals with a wide variety of disabilities and have access to specialist advice if required. We encourage you to contact the committee in advance if you wish to discuss any aspect of how a disability may impact on your ability to participate in archery. Disabled archers will be treated the same as other archers and enjoy the same rights/responsibilities as other club members.
Can I attend your club sessions and competitions if I do not have an Archery GB (GNAS) card?
No! For insurance reasons, we must be sure that you are a current Archery GB (GNAS) member if you wish to shoot at our club, therefore we require you to produce a current valid archery GB membership card. In the absence of a valid membership card, you may be required to complete our beginners course and join the club before we allow you to shoot. Your club secretary will be able to provide you with a temporary membership card that must be presented if you wish to shoot at our club. Beginners who are registered on our courses are insured for the duration of the course.
I am an experienced archer, how do I join?
In the first instance, you should contact the club secretary to discuss your experience. If you are a current active Archery GB (GNAS) member then you will be asked to provide proof of current active membership i.e. bring your membership card with you when you attend the first club session. If you are a lapsed member then you should bring your most recent membership card. You will be assessed by our licensed coaches, who will make a recommendation to the committee regarding your membership and advise you of any gaps in your shooting ability. This is usually a formality, but we reserve the right to ask you to complete our beginners course if our coaches decide that it is the most appropriate course of action. Members of other organisations are welcome to apply for membership but you will be required to affiliate to Archery GB. You will be required to provide some personal information when applying to join the club/course and must declare any conditions that may impact upon your ability to safely participate in archery. Under 18’s must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian at all times.