Archery GB secures disability funding from Worshipful Company of Fletchers
The development of disability archery has a positive future as Archery GB, the Worshipful Company of Fletchers and Fletchers’ Trust embark on a new initiative for the next four years.
The Worshipful Company of Fletchers is a long-term supporter of disability archery and this new programme will continue through to 2024.
There is a need to rebuild the sport following the damage of Covid-19, and archery needs to be far more inclusive than ever before. This initiative will strengthen the partnership between Archery GB and the Worshipful Company of Fletchers. It will ensure the pathway from club- to international events is clear, robust and above all diverse.
Work will focus on four main areas:
- Participation – Working to explore the set up and long-term sustainability of archery sessions and support existing clubs and organisations.
- Training – Support for the volunteer workforce to recognise good practice and to be welcoming to disabled people. It will include building on the successful adaptive equipment pilot courses.
- Competition – Creation of regional inclusive competitions/opportunities, leading into the annual Disability Championships.
- Classification – Whilst international classifications can only take place at international events, screenings will take place at the regional inclusive competitions. National classification assessments will take place at the Disability Championships.
Arran Coggan, Acting Director of Participation, said: “Archery GB is extremely indebted to the Worshipful Company of Fletchers, who have been supporting disability archery for a long time.
“This award will help ensure that access to archery is fair and equal and avoids marginalising disabled archers. Archery is inclusive and welcoming, but there’s work still to be done, especially in the current climate. These programmes will build on the fantastic work by the many volunteers who have, over the years, devoted their time to disability archery.”
The funding is very timely as the Activity Alliance release their annual survey. It showed that twice as many disabled people felt that coronavirus greatly reduced their ability to do sport or physical activity compared to non-disabled people.
Michael Holden, Honorary Almoner of the Worshipful Company of Fletchers, said: “The Fletchers helped both Paralympians and other disabled archers to buy equipment. In addition, the Company donates funds for training both grass roots and elite archers. This support ensures there is a clear path to success for potential Paralympians.”
The Worshipful Company of Fletchers has backed previous Archery GB inclusion programmes. The Fletchers’ also support Blind Veterans Archery section, archery schools set up for disabled children and to the British Wheelchair Archery Association and British Blind Sport.
Find out more about the Worshipful Company of Fletchers here.
What the archers say
Chloe Ball-Hopkins, a member of Cleve Archers (pictured above), commented: “This funding is wonderful news and I hope it encourages more disabled people into the sport. Archery is ideal for people with disabilities and can be adapted – you don’t have to be strong. It’s given me psychological strength and that’s been important for me outside of sport as well. That’s why I’m such an advocate for archery, even when I haven’t physically been able to do it. It does so much more for you than you’d ever think possible.”
Resources for disabled people in archery
For more information about getting into archery if you’re disabled, click here.
Read one archer’s story about disability and inclusivity here.
Please see Archery GB’s latest Covid-19 guidance for disabled archers.
Activity Alliance Annual Disability and Activity Survey 2020-21