Case Study Too Many Archers – Not Enough Space!

Although facilities, especially indoor, are an issue for a lot of archery clubs, sometimes the answer is not always “We need our own indoor range”. Without access to thousands of pounds, the prospect of indoor facilities popping up across the country is a little way off just yet. However, we hope that by looking at the issues in depth and with a little creativity, archery clubs could be able to find a bit of space for new members or additional shooting for existing ones.

Balbardie Archers (Scotland East)

Balbardie Archers had a waiting list of 50+ people. The club also wanted to offer its members additional shooting times and therefore sought a third venue to shoot indoors during the winter. The club applied to the ontarget small grants scheme for assistance in starting out the venture and worked closely with the new school and the West Lothian Council to provide further provision of archery activities in both the community and the school. This helped encourage community participation gradually extending their venues from one to three.

Wellingborough Open Archery Club (Northamptonshire)

Wellingborough OAC had a copy of Dartfish software, computer and video camera, however due to overcrowding of their existing facilities the club struggled to use the equipment. WOAC sought a grant through the ontarget small grants scheme to hire their current venue for an additional evening to allow use of the equipment and coaching sessions. The coaching sessions are for 12 people and allows further coaching of individuals than could happen on an ordinary club night.

Deer Park Archers (Gloucestershire)

DPA shoot every night of the week during the winter. They have 5 separate venues – a school Sports Hall, 2 Village Halls, a school Sports Gym and a Cricket Club, plus a Field Course. Each has its challenges whether it be cost, lack of storage and different widths and lengths, however a typical weekly hire cost is less than £250!

Archery GB is the trading name of the Grand National Archery Society, a company limited by guarantee no.1342150 Registered in England. The funding to pay for the facilities is generated by attendance at practice sessions! Annual fees are £10 per person, and in the winter an individual can attend as many weekday sessions as they want for a one off payment of £3 (family reductions) and both weekend sessions for another payment of £3.

So to break even on a winter week the club needs to generate at least 100 „attendances‟ at practice sessions. Summer income is used to supplement the winter programme. To sustain this level of attendance each session provides „value added‟ so all sessions are special, all supported by coaches etc

Oxfordshire Clubs

Clubs in Oxfordshire came together to form the County‟s first Coaching & Development Group. Oxfordshire Sports Partnership was instrumental in supporting the group from the outset and when hearing of issues with indoor facilities, the CSP surveyed the local schools via the PE teachers and found several were keen to have archery based at their schools.

Other ideas to consider:

  • Provide curriculum/after school clubs in return for cheap/free school facility hire (school dependent)
  • Online booking of shooting time – can see when others are there and also when less busier times are available
  • Better timetabling of facilities – e.g. 2-3pm Beginners, 3-5pm Club Members
  • Increase more time in other venue
  • Sharing with other clubs
  • Giving members option of paying more and getting more
  • Trying to match abilities and not everyone on the same line