Start an Archery Club

Archery GB’s guide to setting up a new club. There are plenty of things to consider before setting up a new archery club and it could feel like a daunting task. Are there enough potential members? Are there enough volunteers to run the club? Is there another club in the local area that you could combine with? Is there a safe venue to shoot at?

Archery GB’s guide to starting a new archery club

There are plenty of things to consider before setting up a new archery club and it could feel like a daunting task. Are there enough potential members? Are there enough volunteers to run the club? Is there another club in the local area that you could combine with? Is there a safe venue to shoot at?

If you can answer all these questions and there's a general agreement to set up a new archery club, you’ll need to call a formal meeting to decide a number of points.  

The three archery club types are:

  • Open Club – This is the more common type. Membership is available to all, in different membership types and according to the club’s constitution.
  • “School” Club – All members will be juniors, and students at that particular school or uniformed organisation. Membership is therefore restricted to these students, and other juniors would not be eligible to join. Other uniformed organisations can also contact membership services to discuss also running under this type of club.
  • University Club – Membership is restricted to students at that one College or University. Alumni and staff of the institution are not eligible to join Archery GB through a university club.

First Steps

Club archer at a competition

Club Name

This can be anything you decide, but it would be handy to have it short and location specific. First, check the name with Archery GB Membership Services to make sure that no other local club has the same/similar name.  The name will also be needed to draw up the formal documents, such as the club constitution, and open a bank or building society account.

Club Constitution

A club constitution outlines the functions of the club, and the procedures for members, meetings and committees. Having a constitution will help to clarify how the club’s procedures should work. The constitution must be open and non-discriminatory. A sample constitution is available in the Resource section of this page, which you can change and adapt accordingly. Before the initial meeting, it’s advisable that there is a draft constitution drawn up so that the group can adopt it.

Club Officials

A club needs a number of officials to run the club on a formal basis. A Club Chairperson, Secretary, Welfare/Safeguarding Officer and Treasurer are the minimum required. These posts will need to be elected, so before the meeting it is advisable you know that there are people willing to take up these roles. There can be other members on the committee, and this will be outlined in the club’s constitution. Many clubs will have other roles that people in the club may volunteer to carry out outside of formal positions.


The club and its members are required to be registered with Archery GB, which is done online. The Club Secretary (main contact person) will need to be set up with online access, so Membership Services will need to be told this person’s full details to create them a record first.  Membership is for individuals but clubs collate and provide the information and payments to Archery GB. Membership is paid annually and includes, among other things, membership card, insurance cover, access to training courses, entry to competition and leagues, award schemes and a quarterly magazine.  

Archery GB works on the behalf of all clubs to help develop the sport, and to work together with other national and local sporting bodies and organisations on the development of archery within the UK. All Archery GB members must join their County and Region Associations, which is confirmed with each membership and also on the Club Disclosure Form.


Archery range in a field

Archery facilities, especially indoor ones, are hard to come by. They might be a school, local authority facility, or facility belonging to another voluntary group or club. Your Regional Development Officer, local Sports Development Officer (SDO), Active Partnership or Sports Council may be able to help you find a local facility.  

Things to consider:

  • The field should be flat(ish), well drained and mowed and with a surface firm enough to withstand “traffic” but soft enough not to damage arrows that miss the target.
  • The direction of shooting should ideally be North or North East so archers are not affected by the sun 
  • Secure fencing or ability to rope off (and post warning signs) to keep out members of the public while you are shooting
  • Boundary hedges to reduce the effect of the wind
  • Access (especially remembering that archery is practised by many people with disabilities) and parking
  • Toilet facilities
  • Secure storage
  • Catering facilities (simple things as a brew up on club night and to be able to entertain visiting clubs)

Once you have secured a venue to use and have the club set up online, the Club Secretary will need to register the range online before shooting begins there as a club.

Other points to consider:

  • Committee Meetings and Annual General Meeting – When and where the committee should meet, how often, and electing a committee at the AGM
  • Finance – Income and expenditure of the club, and how much money it needs to run.
  • Membership – Who is going to join your club and where will you get new members from
  • Insurance – Archery GB insurance covers all members and beginners for up to their first six lessons. Coaches may want to gain membership of organisations such as UK Coaching for CPD and insurance when operating outside of Archery GB environments
  • Coaching Qualifications & DBS/vetting checks 
  • Meetings/Leagues/Competitions – Members need to decide what type of club is it, whether it is going to be a recreational club or a club that runs in-house training and/or enters inter-club competitions
  • Equipment/kit – If you do not have any equipment then you will need to borrow or purchase some. Local clubs and the County Association may be able to help in the short term. Otherwise you will need to access local grants or funding from sources such as the UK’s Sports Councils. Local businesses are a good source of sponsorship for local sports teams
  • Results/Public Relations/Press – You may want to build a website to attract new members and keep current members informed of news and results. It is advisable for a club to build up a good relationship with the local newspaper, to help raise the profile of the club. Often a local paper will run a story on the formation of a new club

Official roles in an archery club

Who is involved in a club and who can help you? On a club committee, the Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer are usually the main roles. However, clubs can have whatever roles they think necessary. These could include Membership Secretary, Records Officer, Volunteer Coordinator, Tournament Organiser. 

You can find support for identifying tasks and roles on Sport England's Buddle site here


  • Archery GB’s main point of contact, the Secretary deals the administration and correspondence
  • Duties also include the day-to-day running of the club, organising committee meetings, the Annual General Meeting and representing the club


  • Responsible for all income and expenditure for the club
  • Duties include producing and managing the club’s accounts and finances, all funds are used appropriately and banked promptly
  • May seek external funding


  • Often seen as the figurehead of the club, the Chair has the responsibility for overseeing the running of the club and for safeguarding/welfare if there is not yet a Welfare Officer appointed
  • Duties include providing direction and leadership, managing the club’s meetings and ensuring that the other roles are supported

Welfare Officer

  • Sometimes referred to as Safeguarding Officer or Child Protection Officer, the Welfare Officer has the primary responsibility for managing and reporting concerns about children or vulnerable adults and for putting into place procedures to safeguard all members within the club
  • Ensures that the club implements the relevant policies and procedures and assists the club in ensuring DBS Enhanced Disclosures/other vetting checks are up to date for all relevant Volunteers

Coaches and coaching

Beginners’ courses should ideally be delivered by licensed coaches.  If your club has no qualified coach, you must ensure that an experienced archer leads club sessions. If you have no experienced people in your start-up group you will need to ask your local County Association for assistance.

Beginners’ Courses

Archer being coached on a course

Everyone joining a club will normally undertake a “beginners’ course” – providing all the information they need to successfully, and safely, shoot. Intro Archery is a fun and easy way for beginners to have a complete introduction to the sport, in just six lessons, including:

  • Selecting their own equipment
  • Shooting using barebow and freestyle technique
  • Playing mini matches, games and scoring
  • Applying the safety rules

Coaching in Clubs

Figures show that a third of all people who don’t play sport say that a coach would encourage them to start. Good coaches inspire people to get active and stay active – they accompany others on a journey of improvement, helping people to progress faster and further than they could on their own and, importantly, keep them coming back.

Many new people take up archery every year, and our challenge is to help them during this time so that they stay active and learn to love our sport. Coaching can be utilised to strengthen an archer's sense of connection with the sport. 

Boost Archery can help beginners or existing members improve on their skills and archery knowledge.

Club equipment

Archery equipment store

Equipment for a new archery club need not be expensive and you may be able to access local grants or funding from your local Council, Active Partnership or lottery funding. Local businesses are often a good source for sponsorship of local team kits so reach out and make connections with your community. Encouraging your whole club and community to help raise money for the club, for example, through easyfundraising, can also really help towards buying new equipment

Soft Archery (Arrows Archery)

Arrows Archery has been created for Primary Schools to introduce young children to archery in a fun and safe way. Specifically designed to be delivered by teachers and sports coordinators, it can be used by anyone with no formal archery experience or qualification.

This ‘soft’ version of archery provides you with child-friendly equipment and resources to get you started quickly and easily. The equipment and resources provided make it possible for

you to deliver archery in almost any setting. Once young people have experienced Arrows Archery, they will hopefully be enthused to have a go at the traditional sport of archery. 

You can find Arrows Archery sets to purchase here.

Archery Equipment

Although regular archers will buy their own equipment, the club will need beginners’ equipment and to provide communal equipment like targets and target faces. Additional items can be purchased such as metal detectors (to find arrows in the grass) and maintenance equipment including fletching jigs, fletches and glue as the programme develops.

For most venues, the archery equipment will need to be set up and taken down for each session. The storage unit should be dry and vermin free. Straw bosses can get wet but will last longer if allowed to dry out. More practical and space saving options are available. Some synthetic bosses are made of a series of interlocking parts, which are reversible and then

replaceable, when the need arises. These bosses can be stored neatly, take up less space and do not leave a mess.

For safety reasons, bows and arrows should be stored separately from the targets. Typically, arrows are stored in a locked container within a storage unit, especially if the storage unit or store cupboard is in use for other sports equipment.

Where to go for further advice

Archery GB has a series of templates, guidance and contact details for the various county and regional associations and other sporting bodies. The Archery GB Participation Team and Membership Team offer help and support to clubs and archers wanting to develop and improve. 

Archery GB Tel: 01952 677 888 


County Association

The Secretary of your local County Association will be able to answer many of your questions. They will be able to introduce you to other local clubs, sometimes lend equipment and generally provide support via an existing, competent network of help Local Authorities.

Other partners

Other people to make contact with are your nearest schools and in England, your Active Partnership – all of whom can supply different information. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, this may be a Sports Council or local authority sports development officer/unit

Your local authority may have a Sports Development Officer who can assist in getting the club started and in particular in providing information on sports centres, schools and other venues at which you may be able to shoot.

Useful links

Our Partners & Sponsors

Follow us

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

OK, got it.