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Improve Your Game – 2020 Round Up

December 21st 2020
Sophie Meering

2020...what a year. It was different, it was difficult, but there were also many positives and progressions that were made. Have a read, below, of a few of the things Archery GB has done this year.

What an interesting year it has been! Throughout 2020, staff and volunteers at Archery GB have been working hard to keep everything together and deliver everything to our members.

Volunteers

We’re so proud of our archery volunteers and would be lost without their boundless time, energy and enthusiasm, but due to Covid’s impact, many volunteers have had to take time out from the sport or can’t fulfil their usual volunteer roles due to club closures, postponed competitions etc.

As indicated in our Members’ Survey conducted in July, over 1,000 people expressed an interest in volunteering and to find out more information about them and the volunteer roles they are interested in, we asked them to complete a short survey. We are delighted with the response and have received interest from a total 221 volunteers who completed the survey, 98 of whom are completely new to volunteering in archery. Results from the Club Survey have also been positive, with 163 clubs expressing a need for more volunteers to undertake official club roles.

In the new year, we will use the results from both surveys, to help match volunteers to available opportunities within clubs who need more volunteers.

To help support our volunteering campaign, we profiled volunteers every day for a week, highlighting their different roles, what they do and why they volunteer. Read the volunteer stories of Safeguarding Officer Carol Bladen and Student Ambassador Ffion Edgeley, and find out why volunteering in archery is open to all, why archery needs more volunteers – could you lend a hand?, and consider volunteering in archery – what’s in it for me?

Website Update

We have updated the volunteer section on our website to provide information about the value of volunteering in archery, example role descriptions for volunteer positions in clubs, and lots, lots more.

New Volunteer Logo

Volunteers are Archery GB’s most valuable resource and we would be lost without them. There are so many different volunteer roles that are required at a local and national level to ensure the smooth running of the sport. To help unite our amazing volunteer workforce, we have designed a specific volunteer logo.

We need more volunteers – could you lend a hand?

If you are interested in volunteering in archery, please complete this volunteer survey, so we can find out more information about you and the volunteer roles you are interested in.

Does your club need volunteers?

If you run a club and need more volunteers, please complete this club survey so we can help match available volunteers to roles you need filling within your club.

Communications

Social Media

Throughout 2020, we have worked hard to ensure we put communications out in a timely fashion, kept all members up to date with changes in government guidelines, along with creating content to stay fit, healthy and knowledgeable about archery.

New initiatives such as Improve Your Game, Behind the Line, Boost at Home, and Match Commentary were brought to our social media channels, giving a new depth of knowledge and background in archery. Throughout the first lockdown, we brought workout videos, interactive posts to keep followers engaged, along with articles from the membership.

Our channels have grown substantially again this year. The most notable being Instagram that is very close to the 10,000 follower mark! We want to take a moment to thank all followers on our social media channel for all of the positive messages we have received in support.

Lobbying

In November, England faced a second lockdown, meaning sports venues including archery ranges had to close. We joined in with UK Active’s #saveoursports campaign to call on the government to help grassroots clubs survive the restrictions brought about by the pandemic. We also lobbied hard to keep ranges open. We believed the Covid-secure measures we put in place and the benefits of archery for physical and mental health justified keeping them open. Our campaign was supported by a PR agency that helped us raise the profile of our sport across a host of media outlets, including BBC Sport Online, local radio and on TV, on ITV Central.

We wrote to MPs involved in sport calling for both an exemption for archery and more support for clubs which were struggling financially. We know many of you wrote to your local MP, signed petitions and shared our campaign on social media. Your hard work helped raise the profile of our sport with both policy makers and journalists.

We were heartened to see archery is now permitted in all three tiers in England, meaning we can all get back to archery. We will continue to advocate for our sport, sharing the benefits of archery far and wide in 2021.

Archery UK magazine

The spring issue of Archery UK was printed as usual, but the financial impact of the pandemic led to the summer, autumn and winter issues being created as digital-only versions, currently in page-turner format. The upside of this is a huge saving on print and mailing costs, a more environmentally-friendly way of reaching members, and enabling members to access related content much faster through direct links to advertisers and AGB online news and resources.

This year, the magazine has been a useful platform to showcase the many ways that the archery community has worked to overcome the pandemic’s immense challenges, and we hope the content has been helpful and inspiring. The magazine design team, Pensord, refreshed the look of the title starting from the autumn issue, and next year AGB will once again review format options to ensure optimum member satisfaction.

Ambassadors and Mentors

The Ambassador and Mentor programme was launched in December 2018 with an Induction Day held in March 2019 for interested people and their parents to find out more about the programme. We were delighted that everyone signed up to the programme and we, therefore, have a team of 8 Mentors, 17 Young Ambassadors, 5 Student Ambassadors and 4 Club Ambassadors.

We are truly delighted with the huge impact our team of inspirational Mentors and Ambassadors has achieved in just one year! They have been very busy getting out and about, raising the profile and increasing participation in archery within their schools, local communities and clubs.

Thank you to Clickers, the official partner of the Ambassador and Mentor programme, for enabling us to kit out the team with an Errea T-shirt and hoodie and a name badge. A large number of Ambassadors have also been provided with an Arrows kit to help them promote archery to new audiences.

2020 has seen great progress for the programme, despite everything that has gone on, so let’s take a look!

  • January – Launched an Ambassador & Mentor Group on Learning Curve.
  • February – Three Young Ambassadors were shortlisted as the Young Volunteer of the Year Award 2020, which Max Oakley won.
  • March – Ambassadors & Mentors voted on their preferred Club Safeguarding Officer poster, and gave valuable feedback to improve the posters. They suggested a Deputy Club Safeguarding, Coach & Volunteer posters too.

  • April – Ambassadors & Mentors got busy engaging and supporting their fellow archery members during lockdown. As we had to cancel our Ambassador & Mentor Gathering planned for 29 March 2020 due to Covid-19, we had an online meeting instead.
  • May – Ambassadors and Mentors say thank you to the NHS and all frontline and key workers during this incredibly difficult time.
  • June – We took the opportunity to thank our amazing Ambassadors & Mentors during National Volunteer Week.
  • July – Sinead Byrne shared how she coped during lockdown. From walking and training her strength has improved and she has managed to lose weight in the process. She said: ‘’I know I will come out of this a lot stronger, both mentally and physically’’.
  • August – Helen Sharpe went over and above to help a disabled archer return to her club. https://www.archerygb.org/disability-and-inclusivity/

  • September  – To provide more bespoke support to Ambassadors, we held lots of smaller online meetings, matching Ambassadors with their Mentors. The focus of the meetings was around Ambassadors development plans and support to complete the Youth Sport Trust, Youth Sport Award.
  • October – Max Oakley has helped raise the profile of archery with a featured interview published in bsporty online magazine.
  • November – To help support our new volunteer campaign, a number of our Ambassadors and Mentors wrote about why they volunteer.
  • December – Ambassadors came together for an Online Club Matters, Participant Experience Workshop, on 1 December 2020.

Clubs

Workshops and training

Quite a few events were held in the first part of 2020, which provides a good opportunity to meet people face to face to engage in training, and also an online Big Weekend planning webinar for organisers, even though sadly the Big Weekend was not possible in May.

 25 January Range Assessors Training
1 & 2 February 2 day Coaching Workshop
22 February Club Workshop
27 February Online Big Weekend Organisers’ Webinar
1 March Judge Conference
3 & 5 March Online Range Assessors Training
7 March Club Workshop

 

Workshops became webinars

While we navigated the months of Covid-19, Archery GB remained committed to keeping all members and volunteers engaged and developing within archery through online support.  Webinars provided opportunities to engage with training from home, hear updates, share examples of good practice, and network with other club volunteers or staff from all around the country.  Delivered by specialists in their subject of knowledge, where possible they have been recorded and shared to the Archery GB YouTube Channel for those that could not make them live, to catch up or to watch a second time. 

Stayhome series

Between early April and early June, Archery GB offered 15 different webinars to support clubs and members.  Some of these were focused specifically on key topics to do with surviving the lockdown period, such as emergency funding, keeping clubs functioning, and club development.

Autumn webinars

21 evenings of webinars were held in November and December, with a wide range of topics to support members and volunteers.  There was an overwhelming response in webinar bookings.  Most were fully booked, many were over-subscribed, some had over 100 attendees, and there were some incredibly positive comments in the participant feedback surveys.  After listening to feedback, there are new webinars planned in January and February, plus many more to come from March onwards.

One of the online Stayhome webinars was the ontarget club and volunteer awards presentation for 2020, attended by over 120 people.  It was encouraging for so many people to be able to hear and celebrate the achievements of all the shortlisted nominees in each category, and give recognition to all the worthy winners, hopefully inspiring others for the year ahead.  The need to hold this event online this year, hopefully, greatly enhanced the impact of these awards, and may become an annual feature of the ontarget club development programme.

Re-Build Activity Fund

Since the Re-Build Activity Fund opened in July, Archery GB allocated a total of £9,860.30 of funding to 34 clubs, which included some collaborative contributions from a number of County and Regional Associations.  Other County and Regional Associations are still in consultation with their committees to identify if they are also able to help financially, to support club’s applications in their areas.  We have shared examples of the impact the Rebuild Activity Funding has had on retaining and increasing club membership.  The fund is now closed while we review the next priorities, and we have encouraged clubs who still need help with finances to look to other sources of funding, for example, from the Home Nations.

Competitions

During this year, we learned a lot, adapted and implemented new virtual competitions, ran Covid- safe competitions and revamped schemes already in place.

The Progress Awards Scheme was revamped, with new badges that will be available in 2021. This was thanks to many volunteer hours to get to this point and we are very excited to see how this progresses in 2021. The Summer Metrics changed to include all members, bringing in the option to use the Ianseo scoring app, making it more digital and progressive.

We introduced the 360 Challenge, a virtual competition for all members. This was the first virtual competition we have run that includes social media. It was a great success with over 400 entries in its first year. With the reopening of clubs mid-summer, many members were able to attain their six and three gold ends, break field records and WA awards for both target and field.

Summer competitions

In order to get back to a little bit of normality, we worked closely with a bunch of volunteers to get Competition Guidance together in order to be Covid safe and compliant with the DCMS. Judge guidance was also included in this.

After holding a pilot event at Woking Archery Club, we reviewed the guidance to ensure it was as safe as possible, meaning we could later hold a H2H pilot at Lilleshall and the UK Masters later in the summer.

Field competitions were held around the country, thanks to our fantastic TOs and judges who made it possible. This has also introduced the Winter Field League to introduce as many archers as possible to field this winter season.

Along with all these amazing events, Lilleshall National Sports Centre hosted the National Tour Final for 2020. Despite not having National Tour legs, the event went off the 2019 rankings. The digital reach of the event was 1,076,900, including the live drawshow for the matches.

Coaching

Coaching webinar series

In the summer, we delivered 8 weekly webinars supported by Lloyd Brown, Kieran Carr, Alberto Zagami, Rikki Bingham, Andrea Gales, and Charlotte Burgess. More than 100 coaches attended each session and it was a great opportunity to share new ideas.

Launch of Empowering Archery workshop

In December, we launched our new workshop to support the people who run clubs, coaches and volunteers. We’ve had really positive feedback from attendees and will be scheduling a series of events throughout 2021.

Piloted an online version of the Session Coach Course

To ensure coaches have opportunities to train in 2021, we are in the final stages of transferring our content for the Session Coach course to be taught online. Now, the course will be delivered half online and half in person, making it easier for people who wish to become a coach to receive training.

Performance

2020 wasn’t quite the year we thought it would be, with the Olympic and Paralympic Games being postponed to 2021. However, the AGB Performance department oversaw the return of the Olympic and Paralympic squads to training at Lilleshall NSC in June, after significant Risk Assessment procedures and protocols were put in place in conjunction with key site and support partners.

The postponement of the Games, meant we had to revisit the Olympic and Paralympic Games selection processes for 2021, engaging with key stakeholders and updating documentation. Submissions of Olympic and Paralympic strategic plans for Paris and Beyond to UK Sport also took place. This has involved three phases over the last year and a significant piece of work involving various athletes, staff and stakeholders. We are currently awaiting UKS decision.

The most visual progression for the Performance department, however, is the new shooting range facility built at Lilleshall National Sports Centre, thanks to the funding from our stakeholders.

Safeguarding

The Safeguarding Team has continually provided support to Archery GB members throughout 2020.  It has been a challenging year for everyone, and Archery GB has had to adapt to learning new virtual technologies to continue to provide the service required to our members.  We would like to thank our members for their patience and their continuing support.

A virtual annual NGB NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) Safeguarding Framework Meeting (Audit) 2020 has taken place where Archery GB achieved an overall rating of ‘good’ and in two of the areas achieved the highest rating of ‘very good’.

Ratings are:  Very Good; Good; Satisfactory; Unsatisfactory; Inadequate.

On renewal of membership in 2020, Archery GB asked all clubs to indicate who their Club Safeguarding Officers are on the Archery GB Sport80 Club profiles.  This was to ensure that Archery GB clubs are compliant and that we can effectively communicate with our volunteer Safeguarding Officers.

Virtual Courses/Events/Meetings attended:

  • NSPCC CPSU/Ann Craft Trust Webinars on a weekly basis, which then changed to virtual meetings which has been held on a monthly basis.
  • National Lead Safeguarding Officers one-day training Course
  • NSPCC CPSU/Ann Craft Trust one-day Conference/Workshops
  • DBS Conference attended in March 2020.
  • Case Management Panel Meetings

Virtual Archery GB Disciplinary/Appeal Hearings have taken place during 2020.

We are delighted to welcome Karen Hodgkiss to the team as Safeguarding/Governance Officer.  Karen is working on the continuation of putting information on to the Archery GB website and Learning Curve with updates from the CPSU/Ann Craft Trust and CASPAR in relation to the impact Covid-19 is having on safeguarding, i.e. online grooming, mental health, etc.

Karen is reviewing safeguarding documents on the website and updating as required.

  • A new Guidance Document: Protecting Children and Young People from Grooming, has been produced and put on to the Archery GB website.
  • The Children’s and Young People page has been updated.

DBS

Even though the clubs have been in lockdown, Archery GB has continued to process DBS checks. The verifying process has been completely temporarily changed in accordance with government guidelines to be Covid safe. This was done within 24 hours, with the help of the Communications team.

This information has been conveyed in ezines, on the website and to all individual members who have expressed that they would like renew their DBS in these difficult times. So far this year, 698 members have renewed their DBS and a further 109 members have joined the DBS Update Service.

Looking forward to 2021, we are looking forward to having new coaches and volunteers requiring a DBS check.

2021: 

To work to achieve the Safeguarding Adults in Sport Framework Standards:

This framework provides a set of standards for everyone involved in sport to help develop a positive sporting culture that creates a safe sporting environment for adults, protecting them from harm.  The Safeguarding Adults in Framework contributes to one of Sport England’s Strategic aims: that everyone taking part in sport and physical activity is safeguarded physically and mentally.

Meetings/Conferences in 2021

  • CMP meetings every two months
  • Safeguarding Strategic Advisory Group Meetings twice a year
  • NGB Safeguarding NSPCC CPSU Framework Meeting (Audit) yearly
  • CPSU/Ann Craft Trust regularly
  • Virtual DBS Conference – March
  • Virtual CPSU/Ann Craft Conference

Training in 2021

  • Virtual training from NSPCC CPSU for the Case Management Panel Members.
  • Safeguarding training for Karen Hodgkiss

Disciplinary

Continuation of Archery GB Disciplinary/Appeal Panels as required.

Review of Policies and Procedures will be ongoing.

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