An introduction to Cheltenham Archers
Cheltenham Archers club was founded in 1857 by the greatest target archer of all time – Horace Ford, twelve times National Champion and innovator of many archery techniques still in use today. For further information see history.
Since the days of Horace Ford, the Cheltenham Archers club has enjoyed a long tradition of fine archers and is fortunate to count amongst its members past and present Master Bowmen, County Champions, County Team Members and fully qualified Coaches.
Nestling at the foot of Cleeve Hill in the glorious Cotswolds (see map), Cheltenham Archers enjoy excellent facilities at Cheltenham Racecourse. Apart from February and March when the ground is transformed into the tented village for the prestigious Gold Cup and a couple of weekends throughout the year, the targets are permanently out at all distances.
Archers can use the field any day at any time and should the weather turn inclement there is a comfortable clubhouse with toilets and tea and coffee making facilities. The clubhouse is also used periodically for equipment evenings where novices can get help with string making, fletching and, for the not so accurate, arrow straightening!
Membership continues to grow, with over 60 senior members, 70% male, and 30 junior members (again the boys outnumber the girls 4 to 1!) and yet archery is a sport that girls can excel in and compete on equal terms with the boys. The same applies of course to women and men.
Archers of all disciplines are welcome at Cheltenham Archers, compound, recurve, bare bow and longbow all have their enthusiastic followers at the club, with many members proficient in more than one discipline.
In the winter when we are forced indoors we hold quiz nights at the club and visit the local ten pin bowling alley to keep the competitive spirit going.
The Annual Dinner is popular and gives members the opportunity to sample one of the many excellent restaurants Gloucestershire has to offer.
Indoor winter practice takes place twice a week on Monday evening (7.15pm to 9.15pm) and Friday evening (7pm to 9pm) at a nearby school from October until our ground is ready after the Gold Cup.
Many of Cheltenham Archers shoot competitively and have been very successful, other members choose to shoot at club level and enjoy unwinding at the range. What ever you want to achieve, archery is a sport that all ages and abilities can enjoy.
On Saturday mornings Cheltenham Archers Junior Club shoots from 10am till 12 noon under the supervision of senior club members. Juniors can of course use the range at any time provided there is a senior affiliated member supervising.
For a small additional fee juniors can practice indoors during the winter months on a Saturday morning. Juniors are made very welcome and are always offered all the junior rounds at club shoots and tournaments.
As with most voluntary clubs additional fund raising plays an important part of club life, never more so than now as the Cheltenham Archers club concentrates its efforts into raising a considerable amount of money in order to make a lottery bid to secure the future of Archery in the Cheltenham area.
Much of Cheltenham Archers’ fund raising takes the form of tournaments, beginners lessons and Have-a-go’s. All are popular events with both club members and participants.
The annual membership subscription for seniors is £45, added to this is a GNAS affiliation charge of £40 bringing the total to £85.
There is an additional joining fee of £30 for new members. Novice members who have completed a Cheltenham Archers Beginners Course are exempted from the joining fee.
Junior membership (10-17years) is £25 per year. New members joining late in the year will not be charged the full club fee.
All subscriptions are currently under review for 2005. All subscriptions for this year are renewable on 1st June. There is an additional target fee for those who wish to shoot indoors to cover the cost of the hall.
For proposal forms and details of concessionary rates please contact the club secretary Jane Sircombe on 01452 780515.