Archery GB visit Targetcraft Archers

We were delighted to welcome Helen Smedley (AGB Regional Development Officer) to West Lodge on 17th August 2022.
The purpose of the meeting was to introduce our club and our development plans and for Helen to explain her role and how she may be able to assist us to reach our goals.

We started the meeting by giving a brief overview of our club detailing when it was formed and our long association with the West Lodge Rural Centre. We explained what we did to try and enthuse and retain members through the COVID pandemic and provided an outline of our current ideas for development.

Helen then explained her role which is to help facilitate the growth and uptake of the sport across the West and East Midlands. She went on to explain that AGB does not offer direct financial assistance for development projects but instead offers advice and direction as needed. We spoke at length around two key subject areas, our “On Target” club status and our participation in AGB’s Start Archery – The Big Week programme.

AGB introduced some years ago the On Target status for clubs, where you could, based on set criteria be registered as a Community Club, a Performance Club or one other. Targetcraft were a performance club but at some point our registration lapsed. Helen will provide details of the various options; the committee will review these and will apply for the most appropriate classification.

In 2012, AGB developed the concept of the Big Weekend. With the benefit of a national advertising campaign clubs opened their doors over the same weekend to introduce the sport to anybody interested with the aim of gaining additional members. We have not participated for some years and it’s something that I and the committee would like to reintroduce. The event is now the “Big Week” and we can decide if we want to do one or more events over the week and what the events will look like. AGB provide assistance with PR, advertising, and some merchandise. We are very grateful to Catherine who has agreed to act as the club’s coordinator for this event with AGB. In the past we made this a celebration of our club, we had have-a-go sessions, demonstrations at the Olympic distance, we had different bow styles on show and in use plus information on our clubs activities. We would like to use this event as a driver to increase club numbers and we will be planning a new beginner’s course soon after this event to take advantage of any interest generated. Any assistance that our members can offer in putting on this event would be greatly appreciated.

Whilst AGB do not normally provide funding to clubs, Helen introduced us to a small fund that AGB are offering to assist with post COVID recovery. The maximum amount we could claim is £500 of which the club has to put in 25% and there has to be a compelling reason behind the claim to explain how it will help develop the number of people actively participating in the sport. The closing date is the end of this month. We do hope to get a claim in on time and if it’s successful any funding we get will be used for more club equipment suitable for juniors.

Helen also reintroduced the “boost” archery concept, a refresher for more experienced archers. We will most likely incorporate this within our TEMPO programme during the indoor season.

Tim Bull – Chairman

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