Archery - William Tell, Robin Hood and Katniss Everdeen - eat your heart out!



Archery requires a combination of skill and strength... oh dear...

The Commit to Get Fit 2014 challenge continues with Sinead, Sarah, Naomi and Matt taking part in the first of three archery sessions.

All A-Quiver

We headed over to the Falmer Sports Centre at lunchtime on Thursday to try out the first beginner's archery taster session. None of us were quite sure how much actually archery we would be trying (and we were all dreading being given suction-tipped arrows). Just to be on the safe side, Sarah dressed up in her finest Robin Hood hat. This was delightfully entertaining for us, as well as for her poor son's colleagues who had come along too! (she soon removed the hat and tucked it away for the rest of the session)

No matter how funny the hat looked, at least she didn't have a ridiculous slogan scrawled across on her T-Shirt.

Crash Course

We spent around 20 minutes learning the setup, some health and safety info, and seeing a brief demonstration of technique by the instructors. After this short intro we were let loose and aimed towards some rather large targets at rather a short distance. Well, OK, baby steps and all, but everyone seemed to do really well.

Everyone cheered each other on, celebrating the bullseyes and commiserating the close shaves. Those who hadn't shot a bow before picked up the technique quite quickly, whereas those who had some experience found it more difficult to re-learn the particular shooting style being taught.

Steals from the rich...

We then took a couple more turns at shooting - although the balance of the groups fell down at this point. Our instructor seemed to think that other people were missing out on turns to shoot, so kept going over to instruct them and leaving our group out! Other people ended up getting several more shots than us because the instructor was trying so hard to get everyone a fair go! Not a big complaint really because we each got to shoot at least 10-20 arrows each during the session.

I tried swapping over my shooting side at this point: by carrying out the "dominant eye" test I discovered that I should be using my left hand forward, however I found this quite unnatural and ended up blinking my eyes into focus each time. When I swapped over to the right hand forward stance, the technique felt more comfortable and I could aim without blurring my vision!

Gives to the poor...

After about 20 minutes of taking turns to fire at the 3-metre range targets, the instructors praised our efforts and offered us a slightly bigger challenge - doubling the distance! We jumped at the opportunity and after shifting the equipment around we got to work shooting at a distance of around 5 metres. This certainly made things more interesting and people starting paying more attention to their technique in order to shave those millimetres off their aim.

At this point, Sarah obviously developed a grudge against the instructor, as one arrow was fired which rebounded and nearly hit him before another arrow flicked out of the arrow rest and caught him in the foot! She swears that it was an accident but......

Pop Stars

Finally came the very best part of the session - we were each given a balloon which was inflated and stuck into our targets - so we could take turns at shooting at the balloons!

Not only did this give the target practice a bit more purpose and excitement, it also meant that you could pop other people's balloons - great fun and quite challenging!

Out of my group, I took the most turns before managing to burst mine.... but hey, I got the little blighter! That'll teach him!

I think we all agreed that it was brilliant fun and we can't wait for the next sessions later in the month (15th and 22nd). Photos from the session are below.

These are the photos from the Archery as part of the Commit to Get Fit Challenge - 1st May 2014. The lunchtime session gave us all the chance to live out our Robin Hood fantasies (stuffed tights excluded).

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Sounds like a fun start ..and love that hat!

By Karen on Friday, May 2, 2014

Well done on the shooting yesterday - I think you guys had better aim than us.

Also, I spent ages trying to come up with archery puns and drew a complete blank...!

By Hilmi on Friday, May 2, 2014

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