Archery Beginners FAQ

Archery Beginners Course – Frequently Asked Questions

When do Ely Archers run these courses?

We run courses during the winter and summer. Summer we usually shoot outside and in winter the course would be indoors. Each course lasts for 2 consecutive weekly sessions of three hours each. For dates of the next available course, please visit the beginners web page.

Where are the courses held?

We will run the courses at the Kings School’s Amherst Field close to Ely Railway Station in the summer and at Ely College on Downham Road, Ely in winter.

For the Amherst field please turn off the road near the railway bridge and drive through the entrance gate and along the right-hand side of the playing field to where you will see targets set up for the course. Please park considerately near the tree line.

For Ely College, drive through the main double gates and park in the main car park to the right. Then walk through the green metal fence doorway and across the outside space towards the sports hall in the corner of the open space.

For maps of the locations and address details please visit the archery beginners course locations page.

What clothing should I wear?

Close fitting clothing will help to prevent the bowstring from catching you – e.g. avoid baggy sleeves or bulky jackets as these will make it difficult to shoot.

For courses that are outside you should bring clothing, including footwear, that is suitably warm. Bringing waterproofs is a good idea if it looks like rain.

For indoor courses lots of thin layers are more appropriate, as the sports hall can be warm.

We will provide protective ‘bracers’ to protect your arm from the bowstring and sometimes ‘tabs’ to protect your fingers.

  • Please remember NOT to wear open toed shoes or sandals.
  • Long hair must be tied back so it doesn’t get caught in the bowstring whilst shooting.
  • Any upper body piercings must be removed prior to shooting (This includes ears).

There is a serious risk of injury if any of the above conditions are ignored, so the club reserves the right to request any persons unable or unwilling to comply, to leave the course.

How much do the courses cost?

The course prices are per person for the whole course and are payable in advance. Current fees are displayed on our beginners page on our website.

Without payment in advance we cannot guarantee your place on the course. The course fees are used to cover all equipment use and hire of the venue.

How can I pay?

You can pay via BACS or PayPal (plus fees). If you register online you will be provided with our bank details or if you choose PayPal you will be taken to PayPal to make payment and our system will calculate the extra PayPal fees.

If paying via BACS please put ‘BEG’ then a space and your name as the reference, otherwise we won’t know who the payment was from.

Can I cancel my place and get a refund?

We have a beginners course terms and conditions policy which can be found on our website. This includes all details about our beginners course refunds policy.

What facilities are there (toilets & refreshments)?

Toilets are available at Ely College, but there are no facilities on the Amherst Field. There are no refreshment facilities at either location, so please bring a drink and snack if you wish to, especially if we are outside on the Amherst Field.

Do you carry insurance cover?

Yes, we are covered to teach you through our affiliation to Archery GB, our sports governing body within the UK. If you wish to carry on with the sport following completion of the course you would need to join a club such as Ely Archers and also Archery GB to ensure that you continue to be covered by insurance.

Is there a minimum age for children?

We do not normally take children under 10 years of age, as we have found that they do not have the required strength or physical size to be able to shoot a bow and get the most out of archery. Young children will be assessed and parents advised if we feel that the course is not in their interest until they are older.

Do I need to remain with my child during the lessons?

Yes, you will be expected to remain with them at all times for the duration of the lessons if they are under 16. You will also be required to complete the parental consent part of our enrollment form prior to your child’s participation in any of our courses.

Do you have a Child Protection Policy?

Yes. We have a Child Protection Officer and our coaches are all CRB checked. Please view all our club policies

Do I need to be physically fit?

Although archery is a physical sport and requires a reasonable degree of mobility and strength, you don’t need to be physically fit. However it can also be suitable for those with a disability – including the blind or partially sighted. Contact us to discuss this if in doubt. You should also advise us of any medical conditions which may affect your ability to participate in the course or which we should be aware of.

Will there be any physical contact between the coach and the archer?

A degree of minor physical contact may be necessary during the tuition, e.g. to show you the correct way to stand, or how to hold the bow.

If you have any objections to this, please let the coaching team know.

Do I need to provide any equipment?

No – all equipment is supplied by the club. Please do not purchase any equipment in advance of the course. Your course fee includes the use of the club’s equipment.

What type of equipment will I be using?

We will be using lightweight trainer recurve bows. During the course there will be a discussion and demonstration of these and the other types of bow available (competition recurve bows and compound bows). If you have a specific interest in a particular bow type then please discuss this with the course coaches.

Are the tutors qualified?

Tuition will be undertaken by our Archery GB qualified coaches. Sometimes the course may have experienced club archers as assistants. All tutors have been archers for a number of years and have run many beginners courses. They will be able to instruct you to be able to shoot to a good club shooting standard.

What format does the tuition take?

The course is informal and very much “hands-on”. There are some initial administration and health and safety issues to cover and we have to get you equipped with a suitable bow and arrows. This is then followed by the tutors showing you how to shoot, and ongoing help and advice on your style and technique as you are shooting.

The first week we will show you how to shoot ‘barebow’ style without a sight to get you used to the feel of the bow and give you a basic idea of style. You will then be introduced to target archery with a sight. We will also have you continuing practising your style to help you improve, including friendly and short fun competitions, as well as talks on parts of the bow, how to purchase your own equipment, and information about the Ely Archers club and Archery GB membership if you decide to continue.

What happens when I have finished the course?

You will be presented with a certificate stating that you have completed an archery beginner’s course run by Ely Archers.

You may then choose to join Ely Archers, to pursue your interest in the sport.

After you have completed the beginners’ course you don’t have to rush out and purchase your own equipment if you don’t want to. Ely Archers have a range of beginners’ archery equipment that you can hire. We charge a fully refundable £150 deposit for a free 4-week hire period (any damages or missing items will be deducted from the deposit).

What if I want to carry on with archery but don’t want to join a club?

We would always recommend that you join a club – it is the only way that you can guarantee shooting in a safe environment. It will also present you with opportunities to improve your ability and give you access to a host of advice on technique, equipment, and competitions.

How do I buy my first bow and equipment?

When you are ready to purchase your own equipment – once you have completed the course. Ely Archers can give you straightforward and unbiased advice on all aspects of purchasing your own equipment and can give you contact details for various archery shops.
We always recommend visiting an archery retailer in person for your first bow, so that you are measured up and equipped with the correct equipment for your needs.

A trainer bow like the one which you will use on our beginners’ course costs about £70 with a basic set of arrows costing under £50 – but we recommend you buy a better bow than this. A sensible amount to spend to get yourself all of the equipment that you will need in order to enjoy the sport and make progress is likely to be around £300 to £400.