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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Whilst a lot of these questions are answered throughout the website, this page brings together in one place all the usual questions that we are asked. However, please do not hesitate to Contact Us should you have any questions that remain unanswered.

Am I too young or too old for archery?

AoR is able to cater for archers of all ages from around eight years of age and archers right into their 90's. That said, there are some obvious things to consider. Firstly, you need to be able to hold, draw and safely loose (shoot) the arrow. Young children need to be sensible and able to listen and understand some basic instruction. This is to ensure that they remain safe and that they understand the dangers involved with shooting.

Archery is a sport and, while many people want to get competitive and win medals and other awards, this is not for everyone. At AoR, we encourage both the competitive side of the sport and also the social side, where people come along to shoot and to meet like minded people. Younger archers benefit from shooting closer distances and they progress to longer distances as they go up the age groups and as their ability increases. Likewise, as archers get older the higher poundage bows needed to reach the longer distances can become hard to draw and people often reduce their poundage to suit their physical strength and with it they reduce the distance shot. Remembering that archery is all about personal targets and reducing that handicap (it is just you and the target, nothing more), there is no stigma or otherwise in opting to shoot closer distances and at AoR you are sure to be in good company.

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I am partially sighted, deaf, in a wheelchair, etc. Can I still take part?

Absolutely. AoR is all about making archery available to anyone with the proviso that we follow the one golden rule - every AoR club member needs to be able to shoot safely. As a small archery club, AoR encourage all ages and abilities to join us on the shooting line. Disabled archers are encouraged to shoot alongside able bodied archers (and vice versa) so that they can become shooting partners on the day and help each other. For example, the able bodied archer will usually point out the arrows on the target during scoring and retrieve the disabled archer's arrows. Often non-shooting members will also be on hand to assist in this respect. In addition, the venue is ready to cater for anyone in a wheelchair and most people with special needs.

In short, if you can shoot safely and observe the club and Archery GB rules, then you will be more than welcome to join us.

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My son/daughter is looking for something to do after school, what time can I drop them off?

It is always good to see younger members of society occupying their time constructively, rather than hanging around street corners and potentially getting into trouble. Archery provides the perfect forum for such people and many young people come into the sport to shoot casually and then find that they go on to shoot competitively.

Junior archers are always more than welcome at AoR and they are key to the continued success of the club. However, AoR is a sports club first and foremost, rather than a childcare provider. As such, the club is unable to accept or cater for unsupervised archers under the age of fourteen. Furthermore, through Archers of Raunds' affiliation with Archery GB, AoR adheres fully to the Archery GB Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy and this ensures that the club operates to a secure code of conduct designed to protect children, vulnerable adults and the club itself.

Whilst we are unable to accept children under fourteen on their own, we actively encourage parents and guardians to join in the fun as well. Many of our members are families with one or more parents shooting with their son or daughter. With this in mind, AoR maintains membership options specifically designed for families.

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What are the dangers associated with archery?

As with any sporting activity that includes weapons (air rifles, guns, even javelins), there are dangers involved with archery. With this firmly in mind, AoR is run to rigid safety rules designed to reduce any risk to a minimum. Whilst archery is definitely fun, challenging and rewarding, there is no room for larking around on or anywhere near the shooting field. Any archer found to be indulging in dangerous behaviour will be asked to immediately leave the field and disciplinary action could result in the member being ejected from the club all together.

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What about equipment?

"I have seen some second hand gear on eBay...", "A friend has got an old bow in their loft...", "My bonus is burning a whole in my pocket and I'm off to Targetcraft or Aim4Sport...". If any of these comments sound like you, then STOP!!! Archery equipment gets old and weak and it also gets used to it's owner. Second hand equipment is always worth looking at, but only when you know what you want and what you are looking at.

To develop your technique and to build up your shooting muscles, you will be shooting with relatively low poundage bows during the first few months of shooting. As you progress and your muscles develop you will quickly move on to higher poundage bows and the club maintains a range of bows to meet most needs during those early days.

When you are ready to make that initial first large purchase (your very own shiny new bow) AoR's experienced archers will be more than happy to share their knowledge and experience with you and point you in the right direction. This can sometimes be the difference in spending £100.00 wisely, rather than £150.00 on something totally unnecessary or worse - unsuitable for you.

It might sound harsh, but no one will be the slightest bit impressed if you turn up on your first day with £400.00 worth of new kit. Beginners start with low poundage bows and move up the poundage in a controlled way. New and second hand riser, limb and arrow purchases should be avoided until you know what you need and most good retailers will advise you to use a club's bow for as long as possible and certainly until your poundage and draw length has settled.

That said, if those pennies do need spending there are plenty of wise purchases that you can make during the early days. For example, bow boxes, finger tabs, quivers, arm and chest guards and fletching jigs all make fine small purchases and ideal birthday and Christmas gifts.

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Why archery - Convince me?

Archery is an incredibly individual sport, backed by a strong social element within the club itself and this is extended by AoR's interaction with other local clubs. Some archers take the sport extremely seriously, practice whenever they can and grumble if the wind, sun or people talking behind the line results in a missed gold. Other archers enjoy the way that archery pits you against you; there is no defence or goal keeper to let your side down, no dubious fouls and you are not accountable to anyone other than yourself. This greatly reduces the pressure of taking part in a sport that comes with mental, physical and social benefits.

In a few words, taking up archery at AoR will provide you (and your whole family) with a new challenge, some fresh air (in the summer) and gentle exercise and a forum to make new friends. You can participate within your own abilities without prejudice or pressure, or you can push yourself to the limit and gain some well earned rewards. You set the bar, no one else. Whilst premium equipment can be pricey, the sport does not have to be expensive and AoR can help you to keep the cost manageable.

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I am all for widening my circle of friends. Tell me more.

Archery is a sport that can be enjoyed by anyone, it can cross generations within a family and it can bring an organisation's staff together on one level. Taking a family (mother and son) as an example: Both mother and son will progress through the beginners course together and start meeting other club members from both the senior and junior section of the club. Following completion of the course, the mother will often move on to shoot with other adults and make friends on and behind the line and likewise the son in the juniors section. However, everyone shoots on the same line and the bosses (targets) are often set out at mixed distances along the line so whilst the two sections are clearly defined by age groups, everyone mixes, talks and makes friends - it is hard not to!

All organisations and business are made up of a multi-tiered hierarchy and more often these days the organisation can be split across a geographic area. Like bowling and the office party, archery can be used to bring groups of people together in a relaxed environment and introduce some elements of challenge and competitiveness. However, unlike bowling or the office party archery it is not something that non-archers participate in regularly and for this reason it really does break down that multi-tiered hierarchy and level the playing field, regardless of status or ability.

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You say that taking up archery at AoR is not expensive but there are no prices on the website. How much is it going to cost me?

AoR refrains from publishing prices on the website because the club operates a number of pricing levels for membership based on your circumstances. For example, we have discounted rates for families and pensioners, a low membership fee for our juniors and AoR has the option for you to join as full members or as associate members. In addition, Archers of Raunds is non profit making organisation and membership fees can fluctuate from time to time based on the membership level, direct costs to the club for facilities, equipment, etc. A higher membership count can see the fees remain static or even fall, while a drop in membership and a rise in costs could see the opposite effect.

As well as the membership fees, archers obviously need some equipment. The club has basic takedown recurve bows and associated equipment available during the beginners course. Subject to availability, this can then be hired into your early days of shooting for £30.00 for a 12 week period, with a 50% refund at the end of the hire subject to conditions. During the hire period, the club encourages smaller purchases to be made to spread the cost and, after that, the amount that you wish to spend on equipment is totally under your control with basic setups costing around £100.00, up to state of the art equipment totalling £1,000.00 or more.

Membership fees are typically reviewed and set at the AGM, but the committee reserves the right to review the finances at any time with adequate notice to members of any impending change. At the time of writing, becoming a shooting member at AoR can cost as little as 14p per day for a junior and family memberships can be as low as just 55p per day (plus Archery GB subscriptions).

Please drop the club a line with your details (for those considering a family membership, please include the number of people in your group, their ages and whether they have an Archery GB membership or not) and one of the committee members will get back to you with full costs that are applicable to you.

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I'm sold, what should I expect from my first lesson?

Your first archery lesson is arguably the most important in your archery career. Not only does it signify the start of something new but it will also provide you with a solid foundation on which you will grow as an individual and evolve your technique over the coming months. It is therefore important to be prepared and understand what is to be expected on both sides.

Please click here to jump to the page which explains more about what you can expect from your first lesson.

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What is AoR's long term vision?

Over the years, Archers of Raunds has built up an enviable reputation as a small, friendly and approachable archery club in the East Northants region. This is something that Archers of Raunds wish to maintain for the foreseeable future, whilst at the same time continuing to develop the competitive side of the club. It should be noted that the club has had some great personal successes both within the junior and senior sections at county level and several county records are held by club members. To this end, the club is investing time and effort in the junior section specifically and it actively encourages all shooting members to support local clubs through participation in their tournaments. Currently AoR members can be found shooting around Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and into Leicestershire.

Archers of Raunds is lottery funded and our periodic grants are put to good use. Part of this funding is used to promote archery in Raunds itself and around East Northants and the surrounding counties. Please let the club know of any events that you know of or that you might be planning. These can include fetes, rallies, open days, etc. Archers of Raunds can either take a stall with static bow displays and people to talk to about archery or, if your venue is suitable, we can set up a have-a-go area and let your attendees shoot a few arrows safely, under our guidance.

AoR already supports several events in the local area but it is always looking for new opportunities to spread the word and bring the sport of archery into people's lives. The event would need to be free for us to attend or self funding, but we are sure to make an unusual and welcome addition to your event.

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Do you have any taster sessions or events that I can come to and try-before-I-buy?

From time to time, AoR host have-a-go sessions at the club's venue in Raunds, East Northamptonshire and at other events by invitation in the surrounding area. Please Contact Us or watch this website for details of the club's next publicly open non-competitive event.

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I am bored with the usual party choices. Could you host my next party?

Absolutely. AoR will be pleased to host your next birthday party, anniversary or other get together in the sports hall during the indoor season or on the playing field during the outdoor season (weather permitting). If the weather is of concern please let us know and we will endeavour to accommodate you in the sports hall subject to its availability. Party events will consist of a short safety briefing and then supervised close range shooting onto standard archery targets and other party related targets as required. Other details (such as identifying a local venue for a meal or cutting the cake) can be discussed, so please Contact Us for a brief discussion and to identify your needs for the day.

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I still have some more questions. How can I get some answers?

Simple - Just drop the club an email outlining your question and one of the committee members will get back to you as quickly as possible. Please remember to include your telephone number and the best time to call if you would like a call back.

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