Fun facts: The origin of archery is a highly debated topic with some perceiving the origin being in the upper Palaeolithic era whereas others believe flint arrow heads found in Africa originate from over 20000 years earlier. It can however be agreed that the earliest bows found were from a swamp in Holmegaard; they were excellently preserved and 8000 years old. I say “fun facts” they are more of a mildly interesting facts, or really just a way for me to start a piece on archery.

I took up archery when I was about 10; I’ve gone in and out of practice since then but I am back again. Archery always has a way of drawing me back in. It is so therapeutic, calming, and fun. There is nothing better than peppering a target with arrows to vent your frustrations, and there is no clearer more focused moment than the brief second you aim and fire in. That moment is one of the few times in my life I can truly have a blank calm mind without thousands of thoughts swirling around in my head.

Some people like the competitive side of archery, but that’s not really what I’m there for. I think if I’m good enough that I could hit a person with every shot then whether it hits the gold or not doesn’t really matter. I am there for the chance to relax and have fun; that said it feels good to get bullseyes and reds. As I mentioned peppering a target with arrows is a great way to vent frustrations which is why while most people shoot 3-6 arrows in a round I shoot 8. It does get a little sore on the arms, but I can’t really complain its less physical effort than pretty much every other sport.

Taking up archery is not only a good way to relax and regroup your thoughts but a great chance to meet people. You can meet quite an eclectic group of people at an archery club. You have those with the premium high end bows, those with the standard recurves, and then the old schoolers with long bows and horse bows. Sure archery is largely dead as a useful ability in the modern world but if some disaster manages to destroy all guns then Dundee is sorted to fend of the zombie apocalypse.

So to any of you who think they might quite like to give it try definitely do. It is a fantastic thing to do and if you have a lot of stress in your life it works as an amazing chance to unwind. There is no pressure to compete, or even be any good, trust me I’m by on large hopeless. It’s almost like a form of meditation apart from your firing a deadly weapon, not sitting cross legged on a yoga mat.