Possible Fun Shoot


I am ‘considering’ hosting another fun shoot when we go inside, probably late November and I’d like to know whether current Archers of Raunds shooting members would prefer this to be held during the Saturday afternoon shooting session or during the Sunday shooting session.  The fun shoot will be open to non-AoR archers with current ArcheryGB membership cards, so please feel free to log your interest.

I will be adding three new posts to the clubs Facebook page and I will be very grateful if you could:

  1. Express your interest in attending the shoot. There will be a nominal charge for the session and it’ll be pointless if only a handful of you wish to attend.
  2. Vote on whether you would like me to host the session on a Saturday or a Sunday.
  3. Vote on whether you would prefer the proceeds to go into the club funds or whether you would like us to support a charity and, if so, which charity you would like us to support.

With the cancellation of the outdoor tournament, which is one of our key annual fund raising events, the club needs to undertake some fund raising.  I therefore propose that the entry fee (possibly £5.00 per archer) will be donated, with proceeds from the tuck shop (if we run one) going to the club.  Obviously, there will be no general shooting on the day for AoR archers.

Please vote on the Facebook page as soon as possible and I’ll get working on the details for the shoot.

Sketchy details at the moment include:

  1. The shoot will be aimed at archers that are new to archery and also experienced archers, both AoR members and archers from local clubs.
  2. Distance to be set to no more than 20m so that the shoot will be available for archers of all ages and abilities.
  3. Expect the unexpected from this one.  It’ll have you laughing and groaning throughout the session and you ‘WON’T’ need to be a red inwards or constant gold archer on a Portsmouth.  In fact, that level of skill is likely to be undone very quickly😉.
  4. We will be shooting on a 122cm face which will be considerably adapted for the shoot.

REMEMBER: This shoot is for experienced and new archers, with the emphasis on new archers.  If you can hit white inwards on a 122cm target face at 20m, then this will be a session that you’ll enjoy.  In fact, even if you have the occasional miss, you just might be your teams hero or heroin for the end.

Finally, this will be a team event with a maximum number of eight teams of six archers.  There will therefore be a limit of 48 spots available, so register your interest ASAP because I’ll be using the clubs Facebook page to assign places in order of registered interest.

Bring on the fun,


Posted in AoR Juniors, AoR News, AoR Seniors, Just for fun | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


image2Sometimes, new things come easy and at other times they can be a little trying. During the time that I have been coaching, I have seen both sides and it never fails to amaze me how some people can put aside their troubles and come good on the archery range.

Just a few short weeks ago (One have-a-go session and three lessons to be precise) I met a young lady called Imogen, yes another Imogen for AoR. From the have-a-go session Imogen showed that she had great style in her shooting and that she could be one to watch. Following the usual health and safety part of the first lesson we began shooting and I saw again what I’d seen during the trial session. As a result, during this first lesson we moved onto more advanced things and beyond the usual lesson one techniques. We started shooting with an open hand and worked on refining the various steps through the shooting phase. Amazingly, an open hand was nailed within two shooting ends and Imogen was quickly hitting gold following a quick tip from Geoff about straightening her hips during the setup – As a basic coach, I still miss some of the more advanced things.

By the end of lesson two we’d ditched the wrist sling in favour of a shoe lace (thank you Lauren) and introduced a long rod. We moved the boss back from 10m to 20m and worked on using her back to draw the bow, rather than her arms. Again Geoff helped with a tip to make the shoelace shorter, so that the bow did not swing so much and we were again shooting red inwards for most of the session despite an aching shoulder but a refusal from Imogen not to sit out the session, although there were a couple of couch forced ends sat out to recover and to avoid straining anything.

Needless to say, by the end of lesson two Imogen was pushing my coaching skills and shooting equally as well as some of the juniors (at this point) that have gone on to shoot at county level.

So into week three and things took an unexpected turn and not for the better. Full of enthusiasm, Imogen completed a warmup and set about shooting. Again, the boss was at a challenging 20m but most of her arrows dropped low and at least one every end for much of the session dropped under the boss. Puzzled, I sure was. Her setup was sound, her posture good, her release no different, was this a session where I was to let her down?

Out came the iPhone and after studying some video footage of her shooting, we made a few changes, the main one to her anchor point. We made it tighter so that she had three touch points and boom (as the teenagers seem to say these days), central and nicely back to the middle area of the boss, despite the inevitable tiredness setting in following a good number of arrows having been shot during the session.

So why this story? Well this for me, has been a lesson all about Persistence and teamwork. Imogen not once lost heart and readily tried anything that I asked of her. Many young archers (and seniors) would have put the bow away and called it a day. Not Imogen, she kept smiling, gave me the odd quizzical look and even hit me with a superb question that still has me questioning why we don’t have protection for both hands when pulling arrows. Feeding on her persistence, I dug deeper, worked harder and studied her form to find the source of the issue. Someone even suggested one of the arrows might be faulty, but I’d already checked for that and all was good.

Working with Imogen (like several of the juniors that I have taught over the years and they know who they are) is like being part of a team. I ask, she tries, she feeds back and I re-evaluate, think and try something different. Again, never does she question, argue or give less than 100%. Like several juniors before, Imogen is yet another reason why I give up a Friday night to have over to Raunds and coach beginners.

So, feeling pushed to my limits and not wishing to let Imogen down, we approached the line for one last end (well it turned out to be the last but one, but hey!!). She settled onto the shooting line, we ran through everything and she applied everything that we had worked on during the session, including the new anchor point. image1Now, remember that she is only on lesson three, so less than 8 hours shooting if we include the have-a-go AND I’m pushing her ‘well’ beyond the beginners course as far as technique and ability are concerned. The five arrow end went something like this:

  • Arrow 1 – A great anchor point a solid 9 (gold) and a small smile – Yes Imogen I did notice.
  • Arrow 2 – Another great technical shot and another nine, top right. The smile was growing.
  • Arrow 3 – Probably the best of the group technically and a wonderful 10.

A glance back to me and the smile was broad indicating that she was relaxed and things were coming good. However, At this point things were speeding up, I was concerned about over confidence and I wanted her to make this a five gold end. I therefore had to advise Imogen to slow down a little and use the opportunity to put the bow on her foot to let her muscles relax. Also some words about having to make every arrow find the gold and that just because the first three had, it did mean that the final two would without her making them.

  • Arrow 4 – Following a short rest and another great technical shot, another ten cutting the line and giving a great grouping top right of the gold.
  • Arrow 5 – The wind had been blustering all evening and I’d like to think that this last arrow was mostly down to the wind because Imogen’s technique was just fine, but isn’t it always the case, the arrow dropped into the red for solid 8 at six o’clock and only just out of the gold.

This was an amazing end of arrows from a young lady who never gave up throughout the session despite the wind and arrows dropping below the boss throughout most of the session. This was an end of arrows that I will remember for a long time and it was hugely deserved by a young lady with only a few hours coaching, at a fair distance and who had the perseverance to make things come good in the end.

‘This story’ is an example of why I love being part of the AoR team and what we, as a club, do at Archers of Raunds.

Imogen, all credit to you!!!

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Away Tournaments

awaytournamentsI have created a new page on our website which will be used to list archery tournaments in our local area.  This will hopefully provide easy access to those AoR members who are looking to attend other tournaments during the year.

If you would like a tournament including on this page, please email me with the details and I’ll get it uploaded as soon as possible.  Otherwise, I will only publish those tournaments that are brought to my attention by the organisers.

Richard does a sterling job in setting up and promoting our AoR tournaments and they remain a ‘very’ key part to our fund raising campaign during the year and they help us to keep our membership fees low.  PLEASE promote our tournaments when attending other clubs tournaments.  Organisers are usually happy to announce the event during their assembly or award ceremonies and they are also usually happy to distribute (or make available) entry forms during their event.

Please support Richard and the club by promoting our tournaments.


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New Website!!

2016websiteFor the longest time I have been talking about rebuilding the club website and following the recent hack issue, I have finally burned the midnight oil well into the wee small hours for several nights and hand crafted the new website, which is now online.

The new website has a brand new look and it makes use of images on each page for a modern look.  If the is an image of you on the site and you don’t want it to be used, please let me know and I’ll replace it as soon as possible.

However, the key benefit to the new design is that it is now “Responsive”.  This means that those of you viewing the site at the field on your smartphones and iPad, will have a better experience.  no longer will the screens be tiny and need scrolling all of the time.  Most pages ‘should’ now render for your device.

That said, I have used tables for some of the pages where the page includes data.  For example, the results pages.  These tables will display off the side of screens that are narrower than 600px wide.  Sorry about this, but those tables just didn’t really work in a 100% responsive interface.

IMPORTANT: Most, not all, of the text has been copied over form the old website.  This means that some of the content will be dated and it will need updating.  For example, I caught the Juniors GNAS fee which we are no longer able to pay as a club but I know that there will be other errors.  Can some of you ‘please’ spend a few minutes and email me with any issues that you find and I’ll get them fixed as soon as possible.

My next task will be to replace all of the fixed .pdf forms that have been designed in MS Excel and MS Word.  My plan is to try to recreate those forms in google Documents so that it is easier for any authorised member to make changes as needed.  We will then have a locked down, easily printable, .pdf version on the website for people to download but also a cloud based editable version.

I would welcome your comments about the new website in the comments section below.

I hope that you like the new website,


Posted in AoR News, WebSite | Tagged | 1 Comment

Website Issues!!!


As some of you will have noticed, Google has very recently flagged the club website as being hacked.  This is reported when you run a search using the Google Search Engine (for example http://www.google.co.uk).  As you’ll see in the graphic above, just below our web address the search results state “This site may be hacked”.

Somehow, a rogue file has been uploaded to the online version of the website, probably through some form of SQL injection attack.  This file was used to improve the web search rankings by having other website reference their website.  The offending file has been found and removed and I have just finished uploading a completely  fresh copy of the website and requested that Google check the site and remove the Hacked warning message.  Assuming I have caught everything, this will take some time (maybe a few weeks) to complete.

I would like to thank Tony and Mathew for bringing this issue to my attention and helping to identify the root cause of the issue and to help to resolve it.

For now, we just have to sit a wait for Google to do their thing…..  However, if anyone comments to you about the issue you now know why it is there and that action has been undertaken to resolve the issue.



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Hi Everyone,

I have just received a call from the school to explain that there is a large ditch across the shooting field which was supposed to have been filled in by this evening.  This is not going to be the case and therefore there is no shooting this evening (Thursday 28th July).

I am assured that the hole will be filled in by tomorrow so that the beginners course and normal shooting can got ahead.


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Polly’s Club Record

Icon for AoR RecordsI first met Polly back in February of this year when she joined us at the last minute for the AoR beginners course.  From day one she looked like a young lady to keep an eye on, not least because of her stance but also because of her attitude towards being taught and striving to become better all of the time.  I quickly found myself pushing her more than usual and no matter what extra I asked of her, she listened understood why and applied that new part of her technique.

She worked with all of the coaches during the course and I know that numerous people along the shooting line have helped her during her shooting sessions during the week.  Polly has taken that help and advice and I was amazed at how far she had come when I returned to the field after a few weeks away.

So, she finished her course at the beginning of March and despite best recommendations, she had her first aluminium riser and bow setup shortly after graduating.  A step too far for a lot of people but Polly again rose to the challenge and showed that she can not only handle the extra weight, but that she can put her shiny new blue bow to good use.

Over the last few weeks she has been blitzing the 200 club distances with a 229 for the 15 meter distance and last Friday she stepped up to nail a 221 for the 30 meter distance.  Then, this morning I received the new club records sheet from Simon to see Polly’s name on the records list.

Back in May 2012 Esme Bayliss shot a fine 428 for the Ladies U12 Metric V Recurve at the NCAS 1st Caswell.  This is a club record that has stood for just on four years.  However, Polly shot the round on the 15th May of this year and blitzed that club record with an amazing 506 and all within her first 3 months of shooting.

These are amazing achievements from a young lady who listens, takes advice from right along the shooting line, who looks and applies what she learns to the best of her ability.  Yes she ‘is’ competitive, she  is a joy to coach and yes, I can see her breaking a few more club records over the coming months and I have no doubt that a few county records could go her way as well.  Let’s watch this space and see how she goes.

Congratulations Polly and nice shooting.

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New Club Coach

As many of you will know, I have been mentoring Tony Pinney over the last few months and I am pleased to now be able to congratulate him on achieving his Archery GB Level One coaching qualification.

It is great to have another qualified coach available to club members and to take beginners courses.  As head coach and wit ha seat on the club’s committee, Tony will be taking the lead role going forward and building on the good work that he has done in recent weeks to inject some fun into Friday’s sessions and to introduce bring a friend and other have a go sessions.

I personally look forward to working with Tony as part of his team and to continue to assist him in any way that I can.

Becoming a coach is extremely rewarding and it doe not have to impact heavily on your time or shooting.  In fact coaches often find that it helps their shooting discipline and their technique for personal gain.  If you are interested in also becoming one of the club coaches (and we could use a couple more coaches), then please talk to Tony or me one Friday evening.

Congratulations Tony,on a job well done.

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AoR Success update

It has been quite some time since anyone at the club emailed me with their successes and because I am not at the club much these days, those messages get missed.  However, the recent AGM showed that young Archie and Ruby are absolutely flying with their successes and they both go from strength to strength.

However, today is a report from one of the clubs newer members.  Mathew Jackson completed his course less than a year ago with his partner Michelle and it was great to receive a tournament success report from his first year of shooting and only his second competition.

Well done Mathew and please keep the stories coming.


Fenland Archery club open Portsmouth 22 March 2016: an unexpected result

In early January I filled out the forms for my second ever competition. This one was at Fenland Archers in Whittlesey near Peterborough and my aim was simply to gain more competition experience.

The day started well; we arrived with plenty of time to spare. I knew I would have support on the day from my partner as well as Leza and Ruby Paul. Leza and Ruby have been at both competitions I have shot at and have been a tremendous help! Not only with the extensive knowledge they have about competitions and the sport in general but also with a few jokes to keep the nerves at bay and the normal friendly banter.

The round started badly. First 3 sighters… 7,7,7. All 3 o clock on the target face grouped together.

Second set of sighters with an adjusted sight as far as the windage adjustments will allow…8,8,8.

When doing the beginners course Geoff explained how to calculate where to shoot off on a target to ensure they grouped in the gold. I put the advice into play… chose my spot and started my first scoring end. 10….9…7. The nerves were coming into play but the spot I had chosen was right!

Unfortunately I spent the rest of the competitions aiming off at 9 o clock on the line between 7 and 8 but it worked. The scores remained high; the lowest end was 50… the highest 59.

As it reached the final two ends I asked my partner, Michele, for the score. She said no… I don’t need it and to finish the competition. At the time I didn’t like that idea… I am very competitive! I later understood why she had refused when I checked the tablet, which Michele was recording my scores on, and was very surprised.

My round total was a new PB of 546 which smashed my previous PB, set the week beforehand, by 18 points. This was not the biggest shock of all though. A week and a half later my phone started going nuts while I was at work. Michele had seen the scores before me and my new PB was enough to clinch gold. 1st place on my second competition…. Shocked is not the word!

Overall the day was great and I am absolutely over the moon with the results. If you haven’t entered any competitions yet I would strongly recommend it. If it is your first and you want the comfort of your own club the AoR open would be a great start in the summer.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to seeing you all on the line.

Mathew Jackson


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2016 Open Portsmouth Results

Archery CompetitionFollowing reports of a very successful Portsmouth tournament last weekend, I am pleased to confirm that the official results are now available from our club’s website here – http://www.archersofraunds.co.uk/aor-tournaments-results.html#2016_Results.

Congratulations to all of the medal winners and to the whole AoR team for another great shoot.


Posted in AoR News, Competition, Portsmouth, Tournaments, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment