Most people are introduced to archery though an introductory or taster session, usually held by a club or a disability sport organisation. If you enjoyed it and fancy taking it further, you're encouraged to join a club where you can get coaching and access a wide range of competitions across the UK. There are also tournaments organised specifically for disabled archers.
Most people, regardless of age, gender, ability or disability, can take part in archery as a recreational activity or as a serious sport. The great thing about it is that all archers, regardless of ability or disability, shoot together in the same competitions and from the same shooting line.
You can go as far as your ambition takes you. If you want to shoot socially at a club, that’s great. If you want more, there is a framework in place to help you achieve your full potential. It is called the Paralympic Pathway, and at this point you will need to consider archery classification.
Classification is the mechanism used in all sports to level the playing field and make competition fair between people with varying levels of disability. Archers are assessed by classifiers from the medical profession, mostly physiotherapists. Assessment is based on muscle strength, co-ordination and joint mobility – pain is not taken into consideration.
A new guide has been developed to offer support to ensure people with disabilities can participate in archery at all levels. Disabled people are half as likely to be active than non-disabled people. The guide aims to highlight good practice that is currently taking place within the sport.
This resource is written for the benefit of archers, club officials and tournament organisers and uses scenarios of actual experiences of disabled archers to bring to life issues and how to avoid problems. The guide to can be downloaded below.
There are many opportunities for people who have a disability to get involved in archery. The best places to get started are at an archery have a go session or beginner’s course held at archery clubs, schools and universities, multi-sport camps, the amputee and spinal games or through specific disability sport organisations.
Join a club a take part more regularly, improve and access local competitions. There are also opportunities to progress to a national level through Archery GB’s regional academy structure.
These factsheets have been created by sports coach UK and the National Disability Sport Organisations to raise awareness around specific impairment groups. Participants should always be treated as individuals and not defined by their impairment. This information provides a generic information and should be used as a reference point only. When coaching a disabled person speak to them about their abilities and aspirations.
EFDS’ most recent report, Talk to Me, identifies 10 key principles to help drive participation of disabled people in sport. These principles, if followed, should help clubs and organisations improve their offer to disabled people and make it more appealing. The report goes through each principle in detail, providing evidence of what disabled people are looking for and recommendations of how to meet expectations. They can be grouped within top three headings, which are:
• Drive awareness
• Engage the audience
• Offer support and reassurance
Click here to view the report.
EFDS’ Inclusion Club Hub is a great resource to help clubs include more disabled people in their activities. The toolkit provides clubs and coaches with practical ideas, methods and resources to ensure that everyone has a positive experience. Visit www.inclusion-club-hub.co.uk to find out more.
There are many national and local organisations that provide sporting opportunities including archery.