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Antony Wood’s return to the archery club

April 17th 2021
Sophie Meering

Antony Wood has returned to his archery club, Andover Archers. Check out his advice on returning safely and preventing injury.

Antony Wood recently moved to Andover Archers, who are a 24/7 access archery club. Having moved from London to Hampshire, it has been refreshing to get back to the club for him.

Antony Wood at Archery GB National Tour Final

Antony Wood at the National Tour Final 2020

How does it feel to be back at your archery club?

Great, if a bit shakey! Archery has been a big part of my routine for four years. So I’ve felt a little lost without it, especially on the weekends.

Three months away from physically shooting has made me think more about technique and equipment changes than I would have otherwise, or as quickly. I’ve decided to incorporate a pre-draw back into my shot. So I’m looking forward to working on that and building up the strength to be competitive at 70 meters again.

I moved out of London in August 2020 to Hampshire, so I’m ready to take advantage of Andover Archer’s 24/7 facilities, which is a luxury I didn’t have in London.

What you’ve missed being at your archery club?

As well as being competitive, archery is a social activity for me. So I have missed seeing friends in the county and at competitions.

I would often travel to Portsmouth to shoot with other Podium Bowstrings archers, so I’ve missed that. It’s also a great way to escape from work and relax, especially now I’ve worked from home for over a year. And it means I can do something other than my usual 5/10k walk or run on weekends!

How have you stayed bow fit?

I’ve tried generally to keep fit during lockdown by walking and running. My only bow training activity has been reversals.

During the first lockdown, a group of us would get together 3 times a week over video chat to run through 30-minute reversal sessions. These varied between short holds but high volume, or long holds but less volume. So 15-second holds, 15-second rests or 30-second holds, 30-second rest etc.

Podium Bowstrings ran two video sessions a week throughout March to help get its Pro Team bow fit again before clubs opened. It’s nice to do these sessions with others and have a chat rather than on your own.

Any advice for anyone who might be nervous about getting back to the archery club?

Take it slow, especially if you’re on higher poundage and haven’t done any bow training during lockdown. Make sure you do a proper warm-up and warm-down and try to plan your sessions, rather than just throwing arrows down.

I’m trying to shoot 72-100 arrows a session for a few weeks and build up from there. Remember that in a competition you shoot 144 arrows over 8 hours, whereas in practice you can do that in 2, so don’t rush.

If you’re concerned about COVID or being in closer proximity to others, then take comfort from the fact that clubs and Archery GB have put a lot of effort into making club facilities and competitions safe venues.

At Andover Archers, the committee has reached out to all members and made an extra effort with less experienced archers to welcome them back to the club and offer advice. So reach out to your club committees if you’re unsure.

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