My older two boys were booked in at Cotswold Archery, which is located in the grounds of Farncombe Conference Centre, which is in the stunning Farncombe Estate, (Broadway, Worcestershire, WR12 7LJ). Everything was provided (including a drink during an interval) and they had 2 hours of demonstration and practice – with around 3 or 4 bows. The initial day had to be changed because of the weather. Neil responded quickly to e-mails and my telephone call (on the morning to double check it was all okay). We were able to stay in the grounds after the session but had to shoot off.
I like my boys to get outdoors, and if they can learn a new skill at the same time even better. Truth be told, left to their own devices they would have all been quite happy playing computer games on various platforms. Luckily for me there are things that can entice them away. Archery became something our 11 year old was interested in after reading (and rereading, and rereading again, and again) The Hunger Games. In fact then we got the films (and the comedy version too). I am pleased to say that no children were injured in this particular Archery session.
I was actually quite surprised to see that all the other attendees were in fact adults. Neil had organised an extra target (which was closer to him) and smaller bows, for the younger of my two sons. I asked if children usually took part and he said that indeed they did, and that he even did parties – where they could shoot at a castle. My 11 year old son was most impressed as it was a dedicated archery range – outdoors and much more space than he had previously been used to. It was in stunning grounds, easy to access and with good parking.
Neil provided expert tuition and demonstrations, skilfully splitting his time between the participants. There was an excellent range of bows which were all explained thoroughly. Of course the most exciting bit was the chance to use the cross bow (even if it should have been holding an Olympic bow). My oldest son even got the “Gold” target and I think impressed some of the adults participating.
Benefits to Archery
Both my boys had a great time and it was great to get them into the fresh air. But also there are many benefits to archery:
- Hand eye coordination
- Building upper body strength
- Improving focus
- Teaching patience
- Suitable for a range of ages and abilities, so helps develop social skills
- Improving self-confidence and self-esteem
- The importance of safety
- Exercise – a lot of walking can be involved
- Stress relief – archery is known to be a great form of relaxation.
I would like to thank Neil not only for allowing the boys to participate, but for his patience (especially when the youngest’s arrows kept going over the fence).
The boys had a 2 hour Archery session free of charge at Cotswold Archery in return for an honest review. All words and opinions are my own.