Returning to archery after a break can feel daunting but many archers come back after years, or even decades off the range. For people thinking about getting back into archery - even if they haven’t been on the range for a decade or more - it’s now easier than ever. Here's how clubs can get involved.
What is Range Returners?
A report on people’s sporting journeys found that 48% of women and 42% of men will stop doing physical activity at some point in their lives. This means that potentially millions of people are likely to take a break from their main sport during their sporting journey. That’s a lot of people who aren’t finding time for that fun activity that helps them socialise and feel great.
That’s why we have developed Range Returners, to help lapsed members return to the sport they love, to enjoy guilt-free activities that help them to take a break from day-to-day pressures and connect with others socially, and to feel part of the archery family.
Range Returners consists of between 1 and 6 sessions, depending on the Returner and the club. If a Returner has extensive archery experience, they'll probably only need one refresher session, but if they've completed a beginner's course and then stepped away for a year or two, they're probably going to need a bit more support and a few more sessions. No matter how many sessions they need, the Returner is allowed to participate in 6 sessions at a club before they are asked to join.
Sessions should be delivered by a coach, but if your club doesn't have one an instructor or experienced archer can also step in.
What are the benefits of signing your club up to Range Returners?
You will be seen as a friendly club who welcomes members of all levels and with a wide variety of archery experience. It's also a great way to boost your club's membership
All clubs who sign up will receive a20% discount on our brand new Range Returners certificates, which can be found in our Club Shop. After you sign your club up to offer Range Returner sessions on the CMS (see how to below), contact your Regional Development Officer, who will provide you with a discount code
We have created a range of editable posters for you to use to advertise your sessions - they're in the Resources section on the right of this page
In the Resources section of this page, you'll also find some social media images for you to use across your social platforms to promote your sessions, and we've included some example captions for you to customise - these are in the Range Returners - Wording for Websites and Socialsdocument
Participating clubs will be given frequent opportunities to feedback to Archery GB on the project, helping to shape how Range Returners runs in the future
All our Range Returners clubs will be listed in our club finders, making it easier than ever for Returners to find somewhere local to them to restart their journeys
We want to help promote our Range Returner clubs by sharing the stories of clubs and Returners who've really benefited from the sessions. Share your stories (and photos!) with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Refresher Session vs Beginner's Course
When you already know about archery, repeating a beginner’s course can be an unnecessary obstacle. That’s why providing Returners with a refresher session can be a more effective way of recruiting people back into archery and could help your club recruit new members straight away!
Providing a refresher session has benefits for both the Returner and the club:
By actively offering tailored sessions, it shows Returners that the club wants them back
It helps the Returner pick up where they left off without the need to repeat a beginner's course
The Returner is given the chance to meet volunteers from the club, ask questions and generally socialise with other club members
It helps the club recruit members and allows other resources to be committed to training beginners
How to sign your club up to offer Range Returners sessions using the CMS
We're currently updating the CMS to make it easier to sign your club up. If you wish to get started now, contact your Regional Development Officer and register your interest. They'll provide you with more information.
How to add at Range Returner session on CMS
Adding a Range Returner session to your club's CMS page is really easy. Follow along with the step shown in the video below - just make sure you select Range Returner as the event type!
How to welcome Range Returners to your club
Speak to the Returner to help them decide how much they remember about archery. Someone who is still fairly familiar with the equipment, the rules, and technique will find a refresher session helpful to gain back their confidence and top up their knowledge. If they are not so familiar with these aspects, and will likely need more than one session to return and you can invite them to your next beginner’s course instead.
Use the refresher session to ease the Returner back into archery, get to know a few people, and help them feel confident to come to the club’s training sessions. The coach can remind them of anything they have forgotten to help ensure they are ready to return to shooting. Continue the session until you are sure that they are competent enough to participate safely. If you have any concerns, discuss these with the returner and decide if a beginner’s course is more suitable for them.
You’ll want to ensure those coming back into the sport are able to do so safely. Design a session that enables the returners to practice the essentials. Here's a basic example:
Following the range rules and procedures
Preparing their equipment ready to shoot
Basic shot technique
Work out how you will continue to support the Returner after their refresher session. It can be quite nerve wracking joining a club, even when we already know the sport. A refresher session is an ideal opportunity to help Returners to start to build relationships with your other members too.
Pair the Returner with one of your club members during the Refresher Session; someone who is helpful and can be at the club the first few times after the returner joins. They can shoot next to the Returner; help answer questions and be there to support them on the range. If possible, look to match female Returners with another female member initially, so they can provide additional support and answer any questions they may have.
Regularly schedule coaching sessions for new members and novices, so they have a means to practice and get to know more people. Take a look at our Boost Archery Guide for clubs for more ideas about this.
Top tips for coaching Range Returners
Lloyd Brown, Archery GB’s Coach Development Manager, has some simple tips to help coaches welcome back Returners:
Give your Returners a sense of voice and choice. When welcoming a member back to our sport, it’s important to find out what their goals are, and why they want to get back into the sport. Find ways to help them achieve their goals and to participate in the sport in the way they want to participate.
Help your Returners feel like they belong in your club. Welcome them back and introduce them to your club members. Perhaps give them an option to be matched up with an existing member to help guide them through their reintroduction to the sport. This helps foster that sense of belonging and the social aspects of our sport. Let them know that you care about them and really want to see them enjoy our sport.
Create ways for your Returner to feel competent at archery. Set up a club competition that caters for all levels, introduce them to your club coaches and other members, invite them to volunteer, encourage and celebrate their efforts.
Looking to get back into archery?
If you've been out of the sport for a while but are looking to get back into archery, we've more information for you about Range Returners over on our Start Archery website.