One of archery’s greatest strengths is its inclusivity – anyone can have a go, and with the right combination of dedication and skill, anyone can make great strides in the sport. Its inclusivity is what drives the various initiatives to provide more opportunities to get involved in archery, and a couple of fantastic visually impaired archery projects have recently been announced.
Free archery taster events for the visually imparied
British Blind Sport (BBS) – a charity that strives to make sport and recreational activities accessible to the visually impaired (VI) – is embarking on a brand new national initiative to help increase VI participation in target sports, specifically archery and shooting.
The project, which is funded by the charity Agincourt 600, will see BBS team up with Archery GB to deliver taster events – hosted by local archery clubs around the country – for VI people. It is a great opportunity for blind and partially-sighted people who want to get involved in sport. The sessions are free of charge and will be open to anyone with a visual impairment of any age and ability – previous archery (or shooting) experience is not necessary.
Follow-up sessions for those who wish to pursue archery
Anyone who becomes interested enough to take the sport more seriously will be able to attend a series of follow-up sessions. The subsidised sessions will enable participants to develop and hone their skills and technique, as well as becoming integrated and familiar with a club environment.
BBS and Archery GB are also working together to create a resource that will provide information for clubs and coaches about the adaptations needed for a VI individual to fully take part in archery, and to ensure the environment is suitable, accessible and inclusive.
We are delighted to be working with Agincourt 600 on this joint sport and cultural project. To be able to commemorate the Battle of Agincourt in such a unique way will be so rewarding for our members, the wider visually impaired community and for clubs and coaches of target sports across the UK. We are looking forward to working with Archery GB and British Shooting as well as local clubs to host a series of fantastic events for people living with sight loss to be inspired to take up archery and/or shooting.Alaina MacGregor, BBS Chief Executive
Performance-based sessions for visually impaired archery
British Blind Sports Archery have also teamed up with the British Wheelchair Archery Association to launch their first performance-based coaching sessions for visually impaired archers. VI specialist coaches Malcolm Higman and Sue Mangan will host three sessions, and the aim is to prepare archers to shoot in two international tournaments in France later this year.
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