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It was a lovely sunny afternoon for HEA's St George's Day Clout (Sunday 23rd April) - the first of the season - with everyone using club bows or traditional bows.
In a first for HEA, we played host to a (non-alcoholic) stag do on the range on Saturday 29th April when a party of seventeen came along for an extended have-a-go session.
Coach Graham led the proceedings with other club members assisting. After some initial instruction followed by a go at 10 yards, the group got ambitious and a mini tournament ensued with three teams competing at 20 yards.
At end of the session the have-a-goers declared themselves satisfied with their two hours of shooting and a good time was clearly had by all.
With the club's normal venue, D Range, being unavailable for the day, the shoot took place on the smaller A Range. We made ourselves at home with the aid of a pop-up tent (festooned with England flags) for refreshments. Clouts were set at 120 yards (a French flag) for the gents and 90 yards (a white flag) for ladies and juniors.
After six ends were shot and marked, the winners were announced and refreshments were dispensed. Those present agreed that it was an enjoyable way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon, perfectly rounded off with homemade cupcakes.
It was "certificate day" on the third and final instructional session of our April/May beginners course on Sunday 14th May. It had been another full course with twelve attending, including two juniors. In addition to Coach Graham, HEA members Ralph, Paul, Lisa, Lee and Eric were on hand during the three sessions to keep the beginners in order.
A number of the course attendees (including both Juniors) had previously come along to HEA taster sessions, which was to their advantage during the barebow (without sights) course segment.
Shooting initially at bare target bosses to encourage concentration on technique, the beginners were soon able to move on to shooting at target faces at 10 and 20 yards.
In week two the trainees shot with sights (freestyle) before progressing to a handicap tournament at 20 yards in week three.
Following presentation of certificates by Chairman Paul, prizes were awarded to both the handicap tournament winner and the beginner with the highest actual score.
The course was rounded off with the customary burst-the-balloons free-for-all which proved as popular as ever.
All course attendees are invited to come along to a club shoot as part of their course and shoot alongside club members. We look forward to seeing them.
The session ended with a brief introduction to clout archery (aiming at a flag planted in the ground some distance away).
The first weekend in June (the 3rd and 4th) should have provided HEA members with their best ever chance of earning 252 badges as 252 Challenge events (3 dozen arrows at the archer's chosen distance) were scheduled to take place on both Saturday and Sunday.
Despite every distance from 20 to 80 yards being out on the Saturday there was only one badge winner - well done to Linda (shooting recurve) who scored more than the required 252 to earn her 252 badge at 50 yards.
There was a high turnout for Sunday's event. Those hoping to benefit from the previous day's practice were disappointed however as, with the clay range in use, we were obliged to shoot sunwards on the less sheltered range (so a couple of archery excuses to hand there).
With every distance out once more, there were just two badge winners. Congratulations to new junior member Luke, shooting barebow, who scored more than the required 189 barebow score at 20 yards, and also to Alain, shooting recurve, who was successful at 30 yards.
Seven potential archers enjoyed their hour's shooting alongside club members at HEA's last archery taster session on Saturday 17th June.
Following some range safety instructions and a little tuition, the visitors had a go at 10 yards.
As always, the session was rounded off with the ever popular burst-the-balloons free-for-all!
New junior member Luke has wasted no
time in earning a classification badge,
having only joined HEA from our April/May
beginners course. Luke is pictured here
receiving his 3rd class badge from club
Chairman Paul on Sunday 25th June, along
with one of the new HEA classification certificates, introduced this season, detailing the three qualifying scores which Luke - shooting barebow - achieved to earn his classification.
It is worth noting that as one of Luke's qualifying rounds - Short Junior Warwicks (2 dozen arrows at 30 yards and 2 dozen at 20 yards) - actually achieved a second class score, it probably won't be long before Luke earns his next badge!