Valley Bowmen of Huddersfield – Information for new members

These notes are intended to give you an idea of what to expect from our beginners courses and also what happens if / when you become a member.

The club has a committee made up of

Will Kempf – President.

Alan Marriott – Vice President.

Paul McGuire – Secretary.

John Evans – Treasurer.

Graham Ivey – Records Officer.

Alan Hoddinott – Junior Liaison Officer.

Mark Swallow – Members Officer

The club also has 4 coaches (More to follow)

Paul McGuire

Alan Hoddinott

Mark Swallow

Tony Barrett

They are all Level 1 coaches (Mark has just qualified as a Level 2)and can help you when starting out in the brave new world of archery. Other members of the club can also help with choosing and the setup of equipment.

This beginner’s pack is designed to help you with information about the club administration how to access the club equipment facilities and also a reminder of the range safety procedures.


Right you’ve been on and successfully completed the beginner’s course. What happens now?

1. You complete an application to join the club (including membership to GNAS). You then submit the application to the Members Officer.

2. You decide archery isn’t for you and don’t do anything else (other than tell everyone what a wonderful time you had)

If you decide to join we’ve put together a number of frequently asked questions that may be of some use.

Q : What is the cost of membership?
Two fees are payable.Annual GNAS membership provides you with insurance and allows you to join any archery club in the country, with fees due on 1st September.Annual Club membership is due on 1st April.

Adult Varies dependent on time of year £60
Junior (up to 18 years) Varies dependent on time of year £30
Q : When can we use the field?
  1. :  At any time of the day (or night wink).  Once you join the club you will be told where the keys are to the gate and the target shed.  Note that only committee members have keys to the steel container so if you are borrowing equipment you will only have access on a club night (or take pot luck that someone with keys is at the field).

Please note that we do not recommend you shoot alone at the field.Whilst we understand this is not always possible – this is a dangerous sport and accidents can happen!


► Again, at any time, but because of the Club Child Protection Policy, all juniors must be accompanied at all times by a responsible adult.

Q : When are Club Meetings?
Summer :At the field

Wednesday evening 6:30 onwards

Sunday afternoon 14:00 onwards (unless advised otherwise i.e. a club competition)

Winter : At Royds Hall Sports Centre, Luck Lane

Friday evening 19:30 till 21:00

Sunday afternoon 13:00 till 15:00

Q : Is there a “uniform”?
There are GNAS rules on approved clothing (which have changed over a period of time).The club rules dictate that when attending the Club meetings (i.e. Weds/sun or Fri/Sun) members wear black, green or white top with black, green or white trousers/skirt.

Clothing branded with the clubs logo and in some cases personalised with your name can be purchased through Alan Hoddinott. An email will be sent to all members giving them an opportunity to place an order.

Q : Are there competitions
The Club organise a number of competitions throughout the year.At most competitions we try to have a separate round with shorter distances, which allows the beginners and juniors to shoot alongside the more established archers.

Club Competitions include:

  • Frostbite – January
  • Club Indoor Championship and Handicap (for Senior and Juniors) – March
  • St Georges Day – April
  • Independence Day – July
  • Yorkshire Day – August
  • Club Outdoor Championship and Handicap (for Senior and Juniors) – September
  • Traditional Shoot – October
  • Longbow Championship – October
  • Thanksgiving Shoot – November

County / National / International

You will be notified by email of various competitions.

Check out the Calender to see what events are coming up soon.

Q : Coaching / Training
There are a number of opportunities to get some help with equipment setup (bows / targets etc) and with basic shooting technique. The first Saturday of each month there will be at least one of the coaches available at the field at other times various club members will also help with advice on setup and technique (Just a note archers tend to be happy to give advice if / when asked but may not offer advice to someone who has their own equipment and apparently “know what they are doing”).

Time with the coaches (or any member of club) to improve technique or obtain help with setup can also be arranged on a more informal individual basis.

Fridays evenings are set aside for the juniors to shoot, this doesn’t mean that the field isn’t available for everyone but it does mean that priority is given to juniors and the shooting distance is restricted to 50 yards.

What equipment do I need?
If you decide to splash out and buy your own equipment. The choice of bows / strings / arrows and accessories can be overwhelming. Members can and will offer advice, but it is just that advice. Archery equipment is (in the main) a very personal thing.

You can of course use clubs bows and equipment (usually for a couple of months after your beginner course, then it’s expected you will have decided whether you want to spend some money on your own equipment or not). Using this equipment has restrictions, due to the high number of beginner’s courses the club bows need to stay in the storage shed in order that they are available for each course. The shed is locked and in order to access this equipment you will need a committee member to be onsite. Committee members shooting days / times vary but the best times are Wednesday Evening’s and Sunday afternoon’s. Key holders will be there at other times but these it’s almost guaranteed that a key holder will be onsite during these times. When using club equipment it’s worth noting that due to the large number of beginners courses the equipment you have been using isn’t available for when you want to shoot (damaged / in use on a course) or that the setup of the bow has changed since you last used it (sight position)

Things to consider when buying “beginner” equipment
Q : How often will I shoot?
If you plan to shoot regularly its worth looking into the different types of offers / packages / equipment out there. If you plan to shoot once every 3 months is it really worth committing more money than actually necessary?
Q : Do I have a budget?
Bows can cost anywhere between £40 and £1500. It’s probably worth looking at a package which includes most of the things you need to actually start shooting as opposed to buying individual components.
Q : Do I have an idea of how long I will be shooting for?
If archery is a “short term” thing it’s probably not worth considering future options (upgrading individual components and accessories). So a “one off” beginners package maybe the way to go.
Q : What style of bow?
The bows used on the beginners courses are recurve, but there a number of other “common” types, longbow and compound being the most popular. Bow styles are a personal thing, try and find out about and handle as many different types of bow before making a decision. Please always remember to ask an archers permission before handling their bow/accessories.
Q : Where can I get advice from?
It’s definitely worth asking club members for advice you can also can contact an archery shop or ask on an archery forum.
Q : Where can I buy equipment?
There is a huge selection of places (shops /online) for buying archery equipment. Beginner equipment ideally needs to be bought from a shop, the main reason being is they bow is tailored to you (length/draw weight) and the arrows are tuned to you and the bow. Going to the shop gives you an opportunity get have all these things sorted and removes the guesswork on your part. Once you have a clearer idea about what you want/need you can either visits the shop again or order online. The club has no interest in promoting any shop over others, having sad that the majority of members have (or still) buy equipment from Aardvark Archery at Pudsey near Leeds. From experience they are happy to discuss requirements / prices / specifications / package details before anyone actually commits to buying. It’s also worth checking out second hand gear ideally from a known source.
Q : How do I setup/maintain my equipment?
Wherever you buy you’re equipment from should give you a run through of how to put it together and what each piece does. If you aren’t sure ASK. If you get the equipment home and still aren’t sure either ring the shop and ask or have a chat with a member up at the field.
Q : Should I buy on eBay/Second Hand?
It may seem like there are bargains to be had, however, we recommend you avoid eBay/Second Hand until you become more experienced and have a better understanding of exactly what you need to buy.If you visit any of the archery shops you can be sure of getting good advice from very experienced archers.In the first few months it is essential you are using equipment tailored to your size, physique and ability – with the wrong equipment your performance will suffer and our experience shows that these people quickly get disheartened and give up the sport.
Q : Can you recommend somewhere to buy equipment?
There are only two or three shops within striking distance.Whichever you choose be prepared to spend 2 or 3 hours going through all the gear and getting everything setup.


0113 256 2266

Unit 31G, Springfield Commercial Centre, Bagley Lane,
Farsley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS28 5LY

Aardvark Archery Website

KG Archery

Landmere Works
Chapel Lane
NG22 9NS

Custom Build Archery

Custom Built Archery
Units 1 – 4, Ryalls Farm
Church Lane, Eakring
Newark, Notts NG22 0DD
Telephone: (01623) 871560

Q : How much does the equipment cost?
A beginner’s kit that includes everything you need to get started should cost in the region of £160 – £175.Thereafter the sky is the limit
Q : I need some help getting started
So you decided archery is for you and you’ve bought some nice new “shiny” equipment, what now? Well you need to visit the shooting field, as said before you can go anytime (once a member) but for your first shoot with your own equipment it’s probably beneficial to go with someone else or when you know members will be shooting, both from a safety aspect but also from any help or advice you may need.

When you get to the field remember the safety rules – don’t just walk onto the field when people are shooting, observe the safety whistles and respect other members. If you are unsure about what to do or how to go about setting up as target ask a member, they will be only too happy to remind you or where the targets are and how to set one up. Remember to set the target at a “sensible” distance (the furthest we normally shoot on a beginners course is 30 metres)

Remember everyone has to start somewhere – so if in doubt ASK! Good Luck and have fun