When I discovered a few months back that the county wasn’t running a Novice Championship this year, I got together with Nicola over at Norton, and we decided to do something ourselves. Thanks to every single weekend in September being full with competitions of one type or another already, we decided to push the comp back to outside of the outdoor season. Unfortunately, that meant that we had to limit numbers as most of our bosses would already be at the indoor venue, but we found enough space to add in a few from Aycliffe Archers too.
The footballers didn’t help much, scheduling a game for right before we we due to start, but we managed to get the field marked out before the game and then did the quickest field set up I’ve ever seen the second the final whistle blew. Thankfully what began as a truly awful day for the footballers became a sunny and almost warm day for the archers, with just a bit of wind to contend with. Nothing more than we expect at Seaton!
We gathered our experienced archers around, and assigned them all one target each to look after, to offer help and advice where needed, and to make sure that everyone knew how to score correctly, and to point out the finer points of archery etiquette.
As our novices crowded around for assembly, they all looked a little nervous – which became even more obvious during the first few ends, as the silence spread down the archers and into waiting line, so much so that the experienced archers found themselves whispering so as not to disturb anyone! It didn’t take long for everyone to relax a bit however, and start having fun. A slight equipment failure part way through caused a short delay, but some glue soon sorted that out, and the fun continued.
Spot prizes were once again doled out by our lovely judge, with the young lads very excited for chocolate. Archers were also competing for Best Gold at their longest distance, and the usual fun Worst White, while Sharon kept them all in line.
We finished the day with the usual raffle, before the prize giving. Norton took most of the prizes, but both Heugh and Aycliffe showed their stuff and proved that they have some up and coming archers to watch out
Many thanks to everyone who helped out – Sharon, George, Nicola, Ian, Jay, Morris, Louise, Clare, Martin and Becc. Even more thanks to the archers who showed up, despite the weather and the nerves, to shoot in their first ever competition – especially those who only finished their beginners courses a month before.
Mine and Nicola’s aim was to show those new archers that competitions nothing to be scared of. Whether you take home a medal or not, it’s all about having fun, meeting people, and enjoying the sport. From the feedback we have since received, it seems the message was understood…
“Writing on behalf of all 3 of us who took part, we all had a brilliant day, it being our first competition everything was explained with professionalism, humour and the experience of meeting other archers, (other than the ones at our club). The whole day was fun, relaxing with the added bonus of 2 winners to inspire our club.”
“Thanks for a great day. Loved every minute.”
“I must say that everyone I got to speak with were a pretty friendly bunch – makes such a difference when you are a stranger”
With that in mind, don’t forget to keep an eye out for the entry for for the indoor Novice Championship at Whitburn in March, and the official outdoor Novice Championship in the summer (which most of you will still be eligible for). If you need a hand with your entry, don’t forget that your club officials and experienced archers are all there to lend a hand.
Hope to see everyone at the Amalgamation on June 4th, if not before 🙂