We are pleased to confirm that Southampton Archery Club has re-opened for outdoor shooting today. Since Archery GB announced the first phase guidance for returning to archery on the 13th May, the club committee have been working very hard to put all the necessary preparations into place to allow members to return to the club and shoot under socially distanced conditions.
Since our online booking system became available yesterday, over a quarter of our members have already booked slots for shooting, with more than 30 members taking the opportunity today to be the first to do so.
Initial feedback has been very positive and we'd like to thank all the members for being patient and for adhering to the new conditions of shooting which have been put in place.
Since Archery GB announced the first phase guidance for returning to archery a week ago, the club committee have been working hard to implement all the steps necessary to re-open the club. We are required to satisfy the following eight steps:
The ground requires a lot of work to prepare it for usage again. The grass hasn't been cut since lockdown started, Eastleigh Borough Council are there today and tomorrow to get the fields back to an acceptable standard for shooting, with regular weekly cuts resuming at the start of June. There has also been a fair amount of trespass onto the field recently with groups coming in to use the football goals. As a result there is a lot of rubbish on the field and it has taken a while to clear this safely and to secure the boundaries again.
We have been working hard to source hand sanitiser and dispensers for the ground, as well as preparing packs of target faces and pins for members to use and take home instead of sharing equipment at the ground. The new range layout will be marked out on the field over the next few days, this will involve members shooting individually or in small family groups at a single boss in a numbered lane. Members will use an online booking system to reserve shooting slots and there will be provision for both target and clout. Our risk assessments are being updated at the moment and we are preparing more detailed “Conditions of Shooting” which will apply going forward. We are currently optimistic that the club will re-open on Monday 25th May, although it may take a little longer.
The UK government announced the easing of some lockdown restrictions on Monday 11th May and Archery GB have been working with Sport England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) since then to develop a phased plan for a return to archery activities in the UK. Archery GB have published the first phase of this guidance this evening:
The club committee have held an online meeting this evening to discuss the guidance issued by Archery GB and to formulate a plan to re-open our facilities in accordance with phase one of this. There are a number of measures which will need to be put into place before we can resume shooting at the club, the committee will now work hard to achieve these as quickly and as safely as possible over the coming days or weeks. The guidelines may be unachievable for a number of clubs, who will therefore have to remain closed, but we feel confident that with the support of our members we will be able to open Southampton Archery Club again very soon.
Archery GB have released guidance not only for clubs and coaches, but also detailed information aimed at individual archers. It is imperative that you, as members of the club, should read this information and be aware of how shooting will resume and the ongoing conditions that will be in place during this phase. This guidance is available at:
We understand that many of you will be keen to resume shooting, but please bear with us whilst we put the necessary measures in place. Most of the club committee are still working full-time from home and also juggling new realities of lockdown such as home schooling!
Archery GB announced late yesterday afternoon that all archery activities in the UK should be postponed for the foreseeable future. Archery GB have correspondingly withdrawn the insurance to shoot for all clubs and we therefore have no choice but to immediately close all shooting facilities until further notice.
In consultation with our landlords the decision has been taken to change the access codes to the ground and the indoor range, access to the site will therefore not be possible for any reason during the duration of the closure.
We have been in contact with Steve Hallard of Stylist Bows on behalf of members who are currently renting equipment. Once we have further clarification of their position we will update you with the details.
Following questions regarding beginner courses, we would like to confirm that once beginner courses resume we will initially offer places to all those who were booked on courses which have been cancelled, before opening up booking to the general public again.
This situation is unprecedented and extremely unfortunate, but we ask you to be patient with us as things progress. If you have any questions please do get in touch and we will do our best to answer them.
Following government advice to minimise non-essential gatherings, the club committee are in agreement that the responsible decision for our members and the wider community is to close the indoor range and pavilion facilities until further notice.
Beginner courses and competitions scheduled for the remainder of 2020 will also be cancelled and refunds issued accordingly.
At this time we are not closing the club entirely and members may use the outdoor facilities at their own discretion. There are enough bosses outdoors that a fair number of archers will be able to shoot on their own boss to help minimise contact with others.
Saturday mornings are usually very busy as you know, so we would like to ask members to spread out your shooting time over the course of the week and avoid attending the club in large numbers on Saturday mornings for the coming months.
We are the largest archery club in the UK with around 250 members and we have a large number of retired members who fall into the more at-risk groups. We're therefore asking all members to take care of themselves and to be considerate towards others. Please follow the government advice to self-isolate if you have symptoms and please DO NOT visit the club if you feel unwell or have recently been in contact with anyone who is unwell.
If you do visit the club, please follow the NHS guidelines on hand hygiene and take sensible precautions with equipment to protect yourselves and others as much as possible. Scoresheets will be made available online and you can continue to submit your scores via our website for classifications and badge schemes.
Please be reassured that the club is in a financially strong position and that normal club activities will resume in due course when government advice indicates it is safe to do so.
As things progress in the coming weeks and months, we will post updates here as well as on Facebook and via email.