Case Study – Long Mynd

There are many different ways that clubs and counties support young archers. Long Mynd Archers have shared their experiences of developing young people within the sport and includes some examples of what clubs can do.

Long Mynd Archers in Shropshire is a thriving club with members of all ages ranging from 8 to 80 years. The club runs successful open shoots with archers coming from all over the country and sometimes from abroad. Long Mynd Archers recognise the need to support young people in Archery as they are the future of the sport and of the club.

Specific time for juniors

To support their junior members, Long Mynd has a specific shooting time for juniors. Every Sunday morning the club juniors influence what the club does in relation to coaching, shooting rounds and general practice, for example.

Work with other partners

The club also works with the local School Sport Co-ordinator (SSCo) who supports the delivery of specific projects in local schools. Long Mynd Archers is currently involved in delivering Sport Unlimited and Gifted and Talented programmes within local schools. These links to schools promote their work with young people and also introduce them to potential new members.

Providing a quality experience

The qualities of the club, and of the coaches within the club, have helped to engage with young people. Long Mynd Archers are enthusiastic about developing the sport for young people and there is a genuine interest in seeing young people continuing to do well in Archery. The coaches supporting young people are qualified and the club regularly delivers beginners courses and sessions with schools. The club also achieved Club Mark when it was first launched, a quality mark that schools recognise. Long Mynd Archers decided to invest effort

Long Mynd Archers decided to invest effort in to developing junior members to ensure existing junior members continued to be interested in the sport and to also avoid attendance of junior members dropping off. As well as introducing a specific time for juniors to shoot at the club, Long Mynd Archers have embraced all the schemes for junior archers, such as; JAWS, the July Nationals, the November Challenge, the FITA Beginner’s Award, and the Progress Badge Scheme. The club also holds a Junior Fun Day with a barbeque for all young members to enjoy!

A result of these changes includes greater club attendance by juniors, juniors wanting to shoot for badges to measure their progression and some have encouraged siblings to join the club.

Juniors integrated into the club

Long Mynd Archers make sure their junior members are integrated into club activities. Juniors receive full club membership and a junior member sits on the club committee. Juniors are also an integral part of any workforce required when the club puts on shoots and competitions. Therefore, as well as shooting at the club, the juniors also help out and support the running of the club.

Long Mynd is now keen to develop a club at the local secondary school. They will continue to work closely with the SSCo to introduce Archery to more young people.

One parent of a junior at Long Mynd has been really encouraged by activities at the club:

‘What a great job you are doing as a club. I never realised how good my daughter was and how good she looked shooting. By providing incentive schemes the children are always talking about the sport both at home and to their grandparents.’