Sports Editor Lucy Brogden, spoke to the Treasurer of the Archery Club, Jowan Barnes, to find out about their club.
Newcastle University’s archery club welcomes those of all abilities: from experienced archers to total beginners- the club caters to all. With a 50- strong membership, the club is made up of both competitive and non- competitive members.
The two biggest events in archery’s calendar are the annual BUCS indoor and outdoor competitions, which take place in February and June respectively. The club also participates in local competitions against other Northern universities, which are organised by NEUAL (North of England Universities Archery League).
For beginners wishing to get involved in the sport, there is a six-week introductory course that they must complete, but then they are free to attend whatever training sessions they wish. The current course has just finished, but they are planning to put on another introductory course in February for anyone who missed signing up.
Archery is thought to be one of the oldest sports in existence, dating back to an estimated 20,000 BC, when bows and arrows were originally used solely for warfare and hunting. Nowadays, the principle remains the same, but archers shoot at a target, with the objective being to get all of your arrows as close to the centre of the target as possible. Each arrow is marked out of ten, and arrows that hit the golden centre of the target are given a score of ten. The score decreases as you move out towards the outer rings, with the lowest score- a one- being awarded for hitting the white, outermost ring.
“For beginners wishing to get involved in the sport, there is a six week introductory course”
In indoor competitions, archers shoot a ‘Portsmouth round’. This means that each bowman shoots a total of sixty arrows, at a 60cm diameter target from 20 yards away. Archers shoot three arrows at a time, and their overall score for all sixty arrows is added up to give their final score. In the BUCS competitions, there are medals awarded for the highest male and female individual scores for each type of bow available for competitors to use, as well as medals for the highest team scores. .
Notable success in the club last year came in the form of then-novice, Joss Cousins, winning the barebow category at the NEUAL Novice Championships.
In outdoor competitions, the same scoring system applies, but archers shoot from different distances, with the same medals being awarded to both individuals and teams.
“The two biggest events in archery’s calendar are the annual BUCS indoor and outdoor competitions”
In order to prepare for the BUCS competitions, the club trains three times a week at Longbenton, where they are coached by members of the local archery club, ‘Bowmen of Walker’.
As well as training, they compete locally in the NEUAL league, where they compete against other teams in the North East including Durham, Sunderland and Teeside. In the Northern championships they compete against teams from as far away as Liverpool and Leeds.
Last weekend, the club hosted a NEUAL league match against local universities. We look forward to catching up with them later in the year, and seeing how their season is progressing. Hopefully it’ll be good news.