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Club Spotlight: Glasgow Archers

11 Apr 2024

We had the opportunity to sit down and speak to Glasgow Archer’s Michael Mather who coaches, shoots and is part of the club's committee.  He shares the clubs journey from its early days to the present.

1. Please can you give us a brief background on the club?

Club originally formed in 1948, moved to its current location 1974 which at the time was Craigholme School and is now part of the Hutcheson Grammar School complex.  In early 2023, the decision was made to apply for charitable status and the feeling was that this would provide us with greater opportunities for the future.  This was achieved in May 2023.  The club hosted the Scottish Outdoor Championships from 1986 until 2013.  In addition, the club hosted a number of other high level competitions and international events on behalf of Scottish Archery. 

Currently our membership sits at over 90 ranging from early teens to our oldest member who has reached the ripe old age of 94 who still occasionally shoots with the club.  The club caters for raw beginners through to those with international aspirations.  All bow types are catered for and a good number of members shoot more traditional bows such as longbows, flatbows and horsebows.

As a charity, the club is now run by a board of trustees all of whom are volunteers.  Includes a variety of roles which would be similar to most other sports clubs.  We have three licenced coaches and looking to increase this significantly – well done to our newest member of the coaching team John Strang who recently completed the ArcheryGB Session Coach Level 1 Award.


2. What is your club's overall aim and objectives?

To continue to grow and develop in line with our charitable aims.  The club is looking to engage more actively with the broad community and other charities, recently for instance we hosted a session for a number of Ukrainian School Children.  Next month, we will be hosting a session for LEAP Sport who are a charity who work with the LGBTI+ community.  Further to this, we are working with Scottish Archery to assist in setting up archery activity with Bluevale Community Club in the Dennistoun area of Glasgow to provide affordable and accessible opportunities for local people to access the sport.

The club was delighted to welcome Faisal Alkuhlani who is a member of the Yemeni Community in Glasgow who also is a World Archery qualified coach and who has competed at international level.  This could open up other opportunities for the club to create relationships with the wider community.

As highlighted in our charity’s Constitution, the organisation’s purposes are to advance the participation in the sport of Archery by providing access to facilities by the local community by:

·        Providing appropriately structured beginners course through the year for those interested in trying the sport of archery

·        Providing relevant coaching and training for individuals with an interest in Archery, for general improvement, for competition and to shape their archery journey in whichever direction they wish

·        Fostering an interest and participation in Archery among younger people to support physical and mental health and wellbeing

·        Fostering an interest and participation in Archery among people with disabilities to support physical and mental health and wellbeing

·        Encouraging general awareness of archery in the local community, across Glasgow and the wider geographic area.

·        Providing ‘Come and Try’ (Tasters) To individuals and local organisations

·        Ensuring all members, present and future, receive fair and equitable treatment with appropriate adjustment made as required for personal circumstances

3. Can you talk us through your club development journey?

Over the last fifty years the club has had peaks and troughs with the minimum number of four members and currently having about 90 members.  During the 80s and 90s, and into the start of this century the club hosted numerous competitions and as previously noted the Scottish Outdoor Championships for the best part of three decades.

In early 2023, the decision was made to seek to charitable status and we were delighted to achieve this in May of that year.  We believe this will open up significant opportunities for the club to develop within itself and also could potentially support broader archery developments across the city.


5.     What do you think makes the club unique?

We probably have a richer history in comparison to other clubs in Scotland having been around since 1948 and we have been very fortunate to use the same facilities for 50 of those years.


6.     Are there any particular challenges the club face?

As with all clubs, access to facilities is always a challenge both from a cost perspective and the amount of room we require to do our sport safely.  A key challenge is how we continue to grow and develop as we are currently very close to capacity for members.  A further challenge is our desire to get more of our members to consider acquiring coaching qualifications and joining our coaching team.


7.     What future goals do you have as a club?

Given our charity status, we are very keen to increase archery opportunities across a wider community in Glasgow and to support the development of archery within the city.  We are currently exploring opportunities with Scottish Archery to create a partnership in developing a potential new club in communities who currently do not have access to archery.

Thanks for sharing Michael.  To find out more about Glasgow Archers, click here.

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