Archers aim for more members

Bowbearers of Wyresdale members in action
Bowbearers of Wyresdale members in action

AN archery club is aiming to hit the bullseye in its pursuit of more sharp-shooting hotshots.

Bowbearers of Wyresdale are arrowing in on new members, in the hope of creating a youth team and adding a few more strings to its bow,

The club, based at Bay Horse, teaches the ancient tradition of target archery and has members ranging from 10 to 80 years, but there are still not enough younger members to form a junior team.

Mike Seed, club secretary said: “We used to have quite a large junior contingent but many of our younger members have moved away to university and so this year we haven’t renewed the youth team.

“Archery is a very easy skill to pick up and I guarantee that after completing a five week beginners’ course, everyone no matter what their ability will be able to hit a 20 yard target.”

During the tenth and eleventh centuries, most of Lancashire was covered by forests rich in wildlife, which helped to sustain the sparse population and the means of obtaining meat was either by trapping or the use of the bow and arrow.

Although archery is practised today for enjoyment and competition, many world champions have come from Lancashire, and over 45 people are members at Bowbearers, showing that archery is still a very popular activity.

“Archery is a growing sport. More and more people are trying it for the first time at Center Parcs and realising how fun it is” said Mr Seed.

Archery caters for everybody, as it is not strength based, with bows available for all abilities. It is also a good way to socialise and keep fit.

“We often hold bbq’s or congregate at the Bay Horse pub at Bay Horse after training sessions.

“And it is a good cardio vascular exercise as you are having to pull a weight to draw the bow. Posture is extremely important too so we teach people to stand properly which helps not only with their stance but also their breathing,” said Mike.

The Bowbearers of Wyresdale place an emphasis on having fun but they have also shown their first class standard by winning their division of the national BA Postal League twice in the last four years.

For those who are sick of modern tecnology and fancy having a go at something more historic the club are holding “Have a Go” sessions at Cockerham and Abbeystead Field Days and fetes this summer.