“Clear to shoot!”
This is what I eagerly await to hear when lining up on the archery range. Three arrows don’t take long to dispel and I am super keen to try and practice the next round as soon as I can.
Braving the heat of Sunday (I lie, I love this hot weather), I took to the “Come-and-Try” beginner sessions available at Tuggeranong Archery Club and the Canberra Archery Club in Lyneham for this week’s Best of Canberra.
First up, nice and early was Tuggeranong where I was quickly fitted out with bow, arrows, bracer and finger tab. The bracer is an arm guard that covers the inside of your bow arm so that you don’t end up black and blue from the release of the bowstring. The finger tab protects the first and second fingers from pressure applied when drawing the bowstring.
The instructor took me through the proper way to stand, hold the bow, string an arrow and how to shoot. With the basics in hand we were left to our own devices to try and hit the target as best as we could for the rest of the session. The instructors would occasionally provide input on how to improve a shot, which was gratefully received.
There were various targets to aim for which kept things interesting; Christmas trees, Santa, zombies and a teddy bear reminiscent of William Tell’s son – apple on the head and all. It seemed to be a favourite! Balloons were also incorporated to try for a satisfactory burst.
I managed to avoid the “walk of shame” (when your arrow has flown over the target and into Neverland). Not bad for my first session!
After that I was keen to try out an afternoon session with the Canberra Archery Club in Lyneham. Unfortunately, I was the only Canberran who wanted to be outside in the 37-degree heat and the session was therefore unable to proceed. However, I did get a feel for the place.
The oldest club in Canberra, it has been through quite a bit of movement around the area and is now conveniently tucked away next to the Lyneham Hockey Club. It is a small field but seems to be a favourite for the more expert archers and I understand that the earlier sessions were quite well participated in. Shipping containers host the equipment and standard bullseyes provide as the target.
The deciding factor between the two is the better facilities available at Tuggeranong Archery Club, with shade covering where we stood to provide relief from the hot sun and a canteen for refreshments and so I have awarded it with the Best of Canberra tick of approval.
I found the “Come and Try” archery sessions to be a great weekend activity and $15 (cash only) for an hour and a half of shooting is a great deal – check it out for yourself!
Note: Tuggeranong Archery Club is closed over the Christmas holidays and will recommence in February. The Canberra Archery Club will only be closed the Christmas weekend.