Challenge – Target-shooting archery

Welcome the late spring sunshine, and daytime activities are back on schedule. I am fortunate enough to have a group of friends as interested in sport and fitness as our team are at, and we have decided to take on a different activity every few weekends for as long as the sun is out.

This week we tried our hands at archery. Armed with absolutely no previous experience except in posing ‘like they do in movies’, quoting scenes from medieval war films, and video gaming on the new PlayStation®Move Motion controllers, we head to our local park to participate in a beginner archery class with Sydney Bowmen.

An introduction. Besides requiring still hands and a sharp eyesight, target-shooting archery requires steady nerves, most importantly in competition. Although the competitive format has changed little since the 1500’s, the traditional timber bow and arrows have evolved remarkably to include parts made of fibre-glass, tubular steel, linen cords and plastics. Aluminum or carbon arrows allow professional archers to clock arrow speeds of almost 250 kilometres per hour!

Surrounded by young families and adults with some serious pro gear, it’s easy to see how the sport can get participants so involved for hours at a time. Unlike high-action sports that aim to develop overall strength and cardiovascular fitness, archery develops a unique set of skills. Patience is important, as constantly missed targets can get frustrating. A keen sight and quick reflexes are developed with regular practice, and a steady alertness is required of professional players who have only seconds to shoot each arrow.

Did you know: according to Archery Australia, the very first official archery competition in Australia was won by a woman, and early clubs had highly active female members.

The International Archery Federation is affiliated with all major archery competitions and events throughout the world. Four gold medals in the sport will be up for grabs in the London Olympics 2012.

Safety and some serious fun. Although we are there for casual fun, safety is paramount. Bows only go up only at the whistle, and the range is sectioned off with safety signs throughout. There is relaxed, friendly atmosphere throughout the range, making it an easy place to make friends.

Clear Australian skies are ideal for target-shooting archery as well as many other outdoor sports. As a sports enthusiast with a regular training schedule and fixed training regime, I find that trying something new removes me from my comfort zone and is a relief from routine. Sharing a new experience with friends likewise makes for a fun weekend, different to the late night party or the lazy day on the beach. Why not take on our self-inflicted challenge and try a new sport this week?

Stay tuned for more action-packed weekends from the team at, and please share your own action-weekend challenges with us!

© 2010 Karla for