February sees Archery crowned Club of the Month. To see what they’ve been getting up to a their most recent competitions, we spoke to Alex Newes and Ceri Andrews!
How did you first get involved with the Archery club? Had you played before?
Ceri: I’d tried archery once before I think, and never really had the opportunity to pursue it further. I signed up during the freshers fair of my first year, and was completely taken with the sport! I’ve not looked back since, and am so pleased I gave it a try.
Alex: I first got involved in my 3rd year, I joined with my housemate. I’d never shot before, but essentially, I wanted to be Legolas!
You’re a mixed gender club, but you compete separately; what’s the difference between men’s and women’s archery?
Ceri: Essentially, indoors, there is no difference; everyone competes at the same distances. When it comes to outdoor rounds, however, the maximum on a woman’s round is 80 yards, and the maximum on a man’s round is 100 yards. This is mainly due to the differences in poundage (strength) of the bows used; however, there is nothing stopping women from competing at the longer distances, or men at the shorter distances. I’ve found myself shooting outdoors, and overshooting so much, that I might as well have shot the men’s round!
And there are different bows for different competitions too?
Ceri: For the most part, with target archery, all bow styles are welcome to compete. However, there are some competitions designed specifically for certain bow styles. We took a group of archers to compete at the British Barebow championships back in November, where only barebows and longbows are allowed to compete. The recurves and compounds had to stay home for that one!
So you guys have been to three competitions in the last two weeks as well! How have you gotten on?
Alex: Our archers have had great success, with participants bringing back medals at every competition, many of these being first place! These have included the Welsh indoor championships, and university matches.
And there were some Welsh Records in there as well?
Ceri: We’ve had 2 welsh records recently, in the gentleman’s longbow, and the women’s bare bow category. Congratulations to them both, they’ve worked really hard!
When you’re not clearing up at competitions, what do you get up to as a club? What are your socials like?
Ceri: This week we had a Disney themed social. We do love a themed social! Past ones have included; Classic horror and murder mystery for Halloween, Lord of the Rings, the classic white t-shirt, and a generations social. We’ve got an archery themed archery social coming up next week; I will be donning my robin hood costume!
Alex: We go out once a week hitting all of our sponsor and favourite bars and pubs. As Ceri has said, we really like to dress up! But that’s not all we do. We have regular film nights and are this term arranging days out and trips to get us out and about a bit more.
Are you going on Tour this year?
Alex: We’re still working on putting together an affordable trip that’s conveniently timed for the majority of our members. Watch this space!
What has been your favourite moment with the club?
Ceri: To be honest with you, I can’t really pick a single moment. I’ve loved being a part of the club so much, I can honestly say I don’t think my university experience would be as good without Aber Archers. Being asked to be Women’s team captain last year was pretty damn special though!
Alex: This is a tough question as there have been so many special moments, but it probably has to be BUCS weekend this time last year. It was nice weekend away with our large team and I got a surprise silver medal, so that was pretty cool!
And if I want to give it a try, when are you guys training? Can I just come along, or do I need anything to start with?
Ceri: You don’t need any previous experience, and we have club equipment for people to use. We train Wednesday evenings (6.00-9:30), Thursday afternoons (1:00 – 3:00), Saturday and Sunday mornings (10:00 – 12:00) in the Sports Cage. Head down on Wednesday, and we will get you started!
Alex: We don’t hold training courses outside of this time, but if you contact the club we will gladly let you have a go and give you a taste of the sport so you can decide if you want to spend time learning how to do it properly!