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Support: Clubs: ontarget

ontarget: Community Specialism

Update: 8 September 2014

42 clubs across the country have completed a self-assessment process designed to allow clubs to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses. 36 clubs have been classified as a Community club, whilst a further 6 clubs are working towards and have identified what they need to do in order to improve and develop.

View ontarget Community Clubs in a full screen map

Community Clubs

As archery has a unique selling point being such an inclusive, social and family oriented sport allowing the young and old to shoot and compete together, it is fitting that the first specialism to be launched was Community specialism.

Community specialism clubs seek to explore ways to allow the local community easy access to the sport, consistently working towards providing opportunities for as many people as possible and is aware of the barriers that exist but seeks out solutions to overcome them.

Community specialist clubs will be seen as places where people can enjoy a high quality archery experience with excellent social, training and competition opportunities.

How to apply

Importantly how the club operates on a weekly and daily basis will be the primary assessment.

To assist, and to remain true to the developmental nature of the programme, the assessment process to achieve a specialism has been made easier for 2016.

Once you and your club members you have read and considered the characteristics for the specialism, you should think if you would like to apply. You should consider which of the characteristics you already have as a club, but also what activity you can generate to meet and also expand on them.

Clubs may take up to a year in order to develop new activities and for the ethos of a specialist club to be embedded within the club.

You must try to display these characteristics in your club activity. This programme is about 'doing' not collecting paperwork.


You need to tell us whether your club displays each of the characteristics detailed in the Community specialism document. To do this you must complete the online self-assessment.

By completing this, you will be able to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses. If you confirm that all the characteristics are displayed in your club's activity, you will then be recognised as an ontarget specialist club.

If a club isn't able to complete the self-assessment, then the Development Team will work with the club to move towards this in the future.

Clubs can complete the self-assessment form straight away however there is no closing date.

Further Support

Once you have submitted the information on your club, you should discuss this within the club and think about what you can address and in what timescales. You may want to contact other clubs, the national development team and other partners in order to help you with achieving your goals.

As the 'specialism' process is an ongoing process and not an end in itself, all clubs will be invited to explore how to improve the activities that they provide.

The Club and Development Team will revisit the specialism at least every two years. On revisiting the specialism, if a club no longer provides all the activities to be classified as a Community specialist club it will be offered support to ensure that it continues to meet all the necessary characteristics.

The Development Team, your County Development Co-ordinator and many other people are available to offer you support through this process. The Development Team will publish a series of support resources throughout the year which clubs can take advantage of to help them develop their specialisms.

For further information visit or contact Arran Coggan, Development Manager (Participation), Tel: 07525233592, Email:

Falkirk Company of Archers

One of the first clubs to be classified as a Community specialism club. Over the past few years the club has built up a range of activities that has cemented its reputation as a true community club. Unable to fulfil beginners courses due to a lack of resources, and concerned that the club was losing potential members, Falkirk struck up a partnership with MRM Archery, who run beginners courses on the club's behalf so potential members could access a course every month. This partnership has helped club membership increase by 33%. The club is a member of the Falkirk Sports Council, they have a club public relations officer who writes articles for the local press when members have met with success at competitions and each year run a Come & Try for the Local Authority which attracts approx 200 people who try archery.

Secretary, Moira Taylor, said "No-one will be refused membership. We welcome everyone and will always try to find a way for someone with a disability to try archery. Anyone new to the sport can access a course within a month of contacting us. We are delighted to become one of the first ontarget Community clubs and look forward to improving and developing further."

Frome Valley Archers

This are also showcasing the characteristics of a Community specialism club. They have offered frequent training courses, deliberately aiming to build up the membership of the club as they realised that new people coming into the sport do not want to have to wait 5 months for a beginners' course. With new equipment and new venues Frome Valley Archers are able to accommodate a larger number of beginners at any one time. Membership to the club is most definitely open! Actively recruiting new members is the way to become economically viable and they make every effort to promote the club locally and make sure that any enquiries whether on line or by telephone are answered promptly.

Lucy Jones, Funding and Development Officer, said "We pride ourselves on being a friendly and accessible club which is perhaps more informal than some other archery clubs. We are very pleased to be recognised as an ontarget Community club. We are conscious that a club needs to constantly strive to develop and offer members what they want in order to retain and attract them. We have an enthusiastic and engaged committee and always listen to new suggestions about how we can improve regardless of whether they come from."

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