If you live in Cambridge and are looking to take up archery, then you are in luck as Cambridge is home to the Newnham Archery Club, which just so happens to be one of the oldest archery clubs in the whole of the United Kingdom. No matter what your skills are with a bow and arrow, you will be welcomed with open arms at this archery club, which is situated close to the famous Cambridge University.
What Bows Will You Use While Shooting Here?
There are two different bows that you will use when shooting at the Newnham Archery Club and these are the Horsebow and the Longbow. We will now have a quick look at what these two bows are.
Horsebow: This is a short bow as it is not usually longer than 150cm, with the average being anywhere between 110-140cm. They were so that an archer could sit on the back of a horse and shoot from there, hence the name. For more control over the arrow and to give a steadier release, archers use a thumb release when using these bows. This means that your thumb will hook into the string under the arrow and your middle and index finger will be closed on top of your thumb. However, there is really no need to worry about this yet as you will learn all about the shooting technique when you are there.
Longbow: This is a type of bow that has been around for a very long time as it is really easy to make - you just need a long and straight bit of wood and a string. English longbows are some of the best around because they mastered the art of longbow making and made their bows out of yew wood. The wood from a yew tree has great properties for a long bow as the sapwood is able to resist stretching, while the heartwood is great at coping with compression. When shooting a longbow, you the string back with three fingers, with your index finger above the arrow and your ring and middle finger under the arrow.
Basic Archery Course
If you are new to archery, then the basic archery course is exactly what you should be looking at taking part in. During this course you will learn how to handle a bow, stand in the correct stance, nock an arrow, how to draw a bow, and how to shoot and aim properly. First you will shoot at standing targets, and as you learn more and get more confident you will move on to more challenging exercises. You will also get to try to hit a moving target, so that you can pretend that you are in the middle of battle. The course is 2 hours long and at the end of it there is a shooting examination. If you pass, then you will walk away with your own archery certificate. The cost of this course is £30.
If you happen to already know your way around a bow and arrow but are looking to improve your skills (perhaps you are looking to become the next Robin Hood), then there are regular shooting sessions held at the Newnham Archery Club. At these sessions you will be taught according to your abilities. However, you have to book a place in the session - if you just turn up, then you will not be allowed to join in the fun. The range is open for sessions every day of the week and below you can see the time slots that are available:
Monday to Friday - 15.30-16.30
Saturday - 10.00-13.00
Sunday - 10.00-12.00
The cost of a one-hour long session is £10, or you can buy a 4-session card for just £35.
Signing a Waiver
Everything is done with safety in mind at the Newnham Archery Club, and there have not been any serious accidents for the last couple of decades. However, despite this, you will still be required to sign a waiver just so the club is not held responsible should anything drastic happen.