Moving forward

Barry C

New member
What realistic changes would you like to see made in our sport?

I'm just dreaming but... I would like to lose the traditional flavour of recurve and compound shooting and try and bring it closer to being a sport - losing the robing hood and lord of the rings image that tarnished archery into a nerd sport. Abolish dress codes completely. Bring archery into schools as part of PE - including a national schools championship rivaling BUSA in size. I would like to see coaching awards become harder with more prestige attached - perhaps with an area for local coaches and their resume on a website. Coaches should get paid more - after all they can potentially give you many more points than the latest hoyt can. I wish coaching was desireable where coaches had to compete to teach, encouraging learning.

Encourage more head to head shoots at every competition to increase individual competition adding to the sporting flavour. Introduction of a national archery league supported by gnas for individuals and teams. Teams and indiciduals would submit scores. Also gaining points from winning competitions, the points varying on the quality in each event which can then give clubs a national ranking. Encouraging pride and competition between clubs.

Somehow to encourage people to run tournaments. Perhaps a fund to pay professional organisers to run x number of tournaments a year so many in each region. Tournament fees would go up a bit but they are super cheap already, currently only a few pounds for all day entertainment! Thats like 2-3 beers. ACME is currently the closest archery has to this and they do a wonderful job - they are experienced and their shoots have been shown to run well.

I feel the competitive side of archery needs to be promoted in this way to increase the number of young athletic people in the sport and to improve our cobweb image. Have i missed anything? : )

p.s I did not intend to make traditional archery less traditional just the leading edge of the sport.
 


clickerati

The American
Fonz Awardee
Ironman
American Shoot
Barry, as this thread is "on" topic as opposed to "off" topic, I moved it here.
 


tel

Active member
Fonz Awardee
I agree in principle with the most part - but isn't there a danger of splitting the sport into two (or more) incompatible camps? Or do you feel that's what's needed?
 


T

TimCroot

Guest
There should be some revamping of some areas, but as to what and where is open to much debate.

Marcus in his posts has given the methods used in his area to increase the Junior membership, great news as the juniors bring in mum and dad and they do talk amongst themselves. The future needs the younger archers.

What other sports have raised their profile recently? we should look and adapt if applicable their ideas as well.
 


JohnK

Well-known member
Whenever I see Lord of the Rings, Robin Hood etc. blamed for making archery a nerd sport it gets my back up. It's simply perpetuating the idea that someone can't be interested in fantasy literature or mythology without being some sort of social reject, which is of course utter nonsense. Therefore, I'll try to be calm and reasonable. :)

Firstly, anything that sparks people's interest in archery should be welcomed. It doesn't matter to me whether someone on a beginners' course was inspired to come along by Michael Praed, Orlando Bloom or Larry Godfrey; the fact is that they're there and interested. It's then up to the clubs and the coaches to catch their interest, and this is the point at which we should be introducing perhaps a bit more modernism (for the want of a better word). Revamping the coaching structure and ditching the dress code should be high on the list.

I'm all in favour of dragging the GNAS kicking and screaming into the 20th Century (and yes, I know this is the 21st, but baby steps ;)), but I don't think the effect of popular myths and legends should be rejected or denigrated. These stories have been around a very long time for a reason, and they're not about to go away. Why not use them for publicity too?
 


Small Monkey

New member
I agree with John here - although I know plenty of people who enjoy LOTR and are quite geeky with it, I wouldn't call them nerds. They are actually some of the more popular members of our club, and are always socialising with the new members, helping to encourage them to stay.

I like most of the changes suggested above as well, but I know plenty of people who would disagree. There are some people at a club I used to shoot with who would spit if anybody said the word "FITA" like it was a dirty word. Also, there are clubs that cater to the lowest common denominator - where you can't go and practice 70m on a club night because everybody is shooting a western - the beginners can't make 70m you see.

It's this kind of attitude that makes me think a split wouldn't be so bad. On the one hand, hobby clubs that adhere strictly to GNAS, and are for archers who just want to shoot and have fun, and other clubs that are more FITA based, who join leaues and are for members keen to improve themselves and compete at a higher level. Ideally, any club would be able to cater for both types of members, but experience has shown that when hobby archers are involved in the running of the club (as in the 2 I mentioned above) it is hard for a more competitive archer who wants to get to an international level to find the help and support they need - the hobby archers are unwilling to put in the time and effort for something they are not interested in.

On the opposite end, I have seen keen archers who really enjoyed the sport, but only wished to shoot for fun, recieve a derogetary attitude from a highly competitive club, and in some cases were sadly driven away.
 


avalon

New member
There is already archery in a number of schools. I understand you can now take it as a GCSE (though I'm not sure whether that's the whole subject or if it's part of a PE/sports science course... anyone know?). There is also the Archery Association in Schools, which runs regional and national indoor and outdoor competitions (afaik). Though it doesn't seem anywhere near the scale of BUSA.

Also, tournaments costs. I've seen various people complain at the costs already, as it's not just the entry fee. For example, if I go to Lilleshall for a double fita it's ~?20 for the shoot (that's just a guess!!), ~?25 petrol costs, and then ?40 B&B (perhaps), so a weekend is starting to cost over ?80. Over the period of a season, that gets very expensive! Although, if these were to be the national ranking events/premier events (especially if we got some 'up north' ) then I guess people wouldn't mind so much.
 


Tarkwin

Prince Of Dorkness
Fonz Awardee
Ironman
American Shoot
dividing the sport would be suicidal

Any division of the sport into clubs that shoot solely FITA or GNAS rounds would only hurt the sport.

It would be fine with large clubs, but smaller ones would suffer. Any club that is barely making enough to cover the shooting fees incurred by venue hire, boss & face purchase would find themselves in serious trouble. Initially there would be an increase in the number of clubs across the country, then slowly they would start to disappear.

If you want to shoot FITA rounds (or GNAS) then do so, there should be room in any club for people to shoot either or both as the whim takes them. If you insist on shooting different rounds to others in your club, be there when the faces are set up and put one up at your chosen distance.

Lots of love.:jaw-dropp

T.
 


Thunk

Well-known member
Ironman
I'll go with most of this 'wish list' - except the 'losing the fantasy' bit. Exactly how are you going to achieve that? Un-write 'Robin Hood' and LOTR? It can't be done - the bow was a powerful weapon in so many cultures for a very long time, and the skill required to use it effectively meant that archers enjoyed a considerable status. It's because of this that archers turn up in almost every fantasy. We can never get rid of this image (even if we wanted to) so we might as well do the other thing and use it. If it attracts people into trying archery we should welcome that.

Otherwise - it's music to my ears, but I can't see GNAS getting off their bottoms to actually do anything about it. I'm not even sure they would recognise this scenario as a good one; there seems to be an awful lot of 'business as usual' in their mentality. To even start on this we would first have to re-design GNAS from the ground up...:applause:
 


Max

New member
I'd like to see Recurve and Compound archery be given equal recognition as an Olympic sport (hell - we have snowboarding and skiing, so why not). I'd like to see television companies be under more of an obligation to show representative coverage of all Olympic disciplines, including archery, and not at 2am in the morning!

I'd like to see local archery clubs (espcially the small ones) be able to gain more sports grant funding without having to constatly play the disadvantaged/disabled/junior card all the time to even get a foot in the door.

I'd like to see more (any!) private shooter schools setting up, where you can pay for top quality personal coaching, just like going to see the golf pro at your local golf club.

I'd like to be able to shoot all the tournament rounds necessary to submit a UK ranking score (all be it a bad one!), in the North of England, without having to travel hundeds of miles.

I'd like to wake up in a minute - I must be dreaming!
 


Bald Eagle

New member
You and me both Max, on all counts! We have a divide in our sport, North and South! When the Nat Indoors was at Harrogate, the middle of U.K. the south complained and when it was at Stoke Mandeville, The North complained! We can't win either way. We,our sport, need a national centre where all archers can have access 24/7, at a reasonable cost per hour/day where they have coaches on hand to assist. Not a shared venue where it seems only elite squad have access. The leading countries in archery have academies, especially for archery. We have some world class archers in our country, but it is still classed as a "pastime" and not taken seriously by joe public.
 


Little Miss Purple

The American
Fonz Awardee
Ironman
American Shoot
As far as venue's go - you will never please everybody. I remember when crufts moved to Birmingham there was an uproar in the south because they would have to travel further!!
 


JohnK

Well-known member
Compound isn't going to get into the Olympics any time soon.

The IOC made it clear to FITA a while back that if it wanted to change the way the sport was represented in the Olympics it would have to withdraw and then reapply. Given the number of sports clamouring - and failing - to get in at the moment, that isn't an attractive prospect, as there's every chance archery would not be readmitted.
 


SLOWHAND

New member
Dont get me on my high horse! I could go on for ages about how backword we are in my part of the country for archers wanting to get scores for Rankings or for national squad selection. I've had to travel thousands of miles over the last year to attend ranking or record status shoots (I once drove for eight hours to shoot a Portsmouth which lasted for two hours). Grant Womack wrote an excellent letter to Archery UK about the difficulties of archers in the North of England or Scotland to submit scores and he quite rightly said that it wasn't always the best archers that made it but those that had the time and money and lived in the right area.
 


Wrexham Exile

New member
Ironman
prize money. start offering that at tournaments and more people would become interested and stay interested. not vast amoutns but just enough for an incentive.

archery used to be taught at some schools in PE from what i heard but i guess that was some time ago.

i would just like to see the sport become bigger ane more accessable (how many times have you wanted to go for a shoot in the week and not been able too....) but keep the same atmosphere now - friendly and fun.
 


grantwomack

New member
I've given this a lot of thought during the many hours of mind-numbing boredom I call my job. I think there are several reasons why we don't see much forward movement in GNAS.
The first is money. GNAS relies almost entirely on volunteer work or donations. Things move slowly when that is the case. To overcome that, they'd need to raise GNAS fees, which I can't really see being all that popular amongst its members. Otherwise, they need to arrange some sort of organised volunteer system for people all around the country. Again, that would take man-hours to arrange, manage and implement. I'd be happy to help out where I can, but where and how can I?
Secondly, the national ranking system is a sham. What is the point of a national championships and a national rankings which are both done only once a year? IIRC, the aim for the national rankings was to more closely resemble the world rankings. In fact, they do nothing of the sort. World rankings is based on set events, not the best scores from a full season. It is ongoing, not seasonal. It is to do with points earned, not points shot. Requirements are to shoot at a world ranking event; requirements are to shoot some silly number of tournaments. Where is the resemblance?
Finally, I would guess people aren't doing enough about it. We chat on here about what we'd like changed but do we write to GNAS with our ideas and with petitions about what we'd like changed? I have written several letters (the most recent was replied to by Mike Shepherd himself!) about issues that bother me. I'd suggest everyone else do the same!

Let's make some noise!
 


grantwomack

New member
BTW, I'm going to hold a tournament in the next two years that rewards winners with prizes/prize money. Do other organisers seek sponsorship outside of archrey shops/manufacturers? I'm thinking big here! Billabong... Fitness First... Maui Jim... Adidas... Nike... They all offer things archers use.
 


tel

Active member
Fonz Awardee
Grant, I can only applaud your stance - I am relatively new to this sport and am already disillusioned with the way it's run. I am never going to compete at a significant level because of my 'late' start (and lack of skill ;)), but it winds me up that so little is done to encourage those that could make it.
 


Bald Eagle

New member
Are the Archery Association still going strong? They award prize money at field events down to 20 places I think.
 


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