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Club Spotlight: Lauderdale Archery Club

29 May 2024

Lauderdale Archery Club is a club based in the Scottish Borders, part of the Eastern area.  The club started in 2021 and is an inclusive club that caters for adult and juniors (strong junior membership), members progressing from novices to competing barebow, recurve and longbow.  The club recently held an event during Start Archery Week 2024 and have ambition grow and develop further as a club.

Read our full interview with Natalie Macdonald the club’s Chairperson and Lead Coach – thanks for sharing Natalie!

You can find out more about the club over at their website by clicking here.


1.     Where did the idea of the club originally come about?

Lack of clubs locally meant no opportunity for locals to try archery, and no opportunities for local archers to shoot, the closet club being at least an hour away. 2 archers and their families got together to start a small club to allow safe shooting in a local primary school. The club is growing steadily and has now got 25 members with a Development Coach and a member going through the Session Coach course, with 12-16 members shooting twice weekly.

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

We would like to attract new members whether beginners or experienced so we can continue to sustain the hire of our ranges and move into larger indoor premises. We want to be able to allow members to progress to compete throughout the UK by offering them practice at appropriate distances and on good quality targets. We want to be able to offer the community opportunity to try archery including local schools and scout groups for juniors and attract more junior members who will progress to compete.  We are a very inclusive club and we have a few archers with disabilities. As part of our commitment, we ensure our facilities are fully accessible.

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

Starting in 2021 with 4 members (2 parents and their children) one parent completed Session coach and Development coach courses over a 2yr period being able to offer beginner courses within the first year of club opening. More members gradually joined from these beginner courses and the club was able to build up the committee and utilise a larger outdoor field. Small grants from various source have allowed beginner equipment, netting and targets to be purchased to allow the club to grow. The Development Coach has been able to support members who have completed their beginner's course to allow them to continue to improve and ensure they retain their enthusiasm for the sport. The club hasn't wanted to advertise itself too widely in the past due to only having one coach, but hope to remedy this with another member currently on the Session coach course. We are still looking to purchase more good quality targets to replace our second hand soft straw bosses, and to place a container at the outdoor field to avoid lengthy sackbarrow journeys with targets from the school. We held Come and Try events as part of Start Archery Week in 2023 and 2024 with strong attendance from the community which has generated requests for beginner's courses and ideally then onto club memberships. We have applied to AGB to be recognised as OnTarget clubs for juniors and for community. We have had strong support from a Scottish Senior Coach throughout our journey which has been invaluable.


4.     Have you worked with any particular people/partners?

Live Borders (local sports charity) offer club support through their affiliation scheme, and hope to work with them to secure funding for a container at the outdoor field. They also support young athletes who are competing nationally, and we have one member in the U21 Scottish Squad currently with more juniors aspiring to this level.

5.     What do you think makes the club unique?

We have opened a new club despite the pandemic which is unusual as many clubs closed rather than starting up. We have a strong junior membership (currently 50% of our members) and our coach is keen to coach and retain young people and support them to their first and ongoing competitions where other clubs may be reluctant to support youngsters maybe due to lack of equipment or confidence.

6.     Do you have any projects you are working on as a club?

We are looking to secure funding and permission to place a container onto our outdoor range at the local High School.

7.     Are there any particular challenges the club face?

Rising hire of venue costs - needing to continue to push for new members in order to be able to cover the costs. We are likely to outgrow our indoor venue this winter, but the alternative at the High School is too expensive.

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

See confident competent members both senior and junior entering competitions and being competitive - this will mean our club gets recognition as a good club to be part of and attract more members.

9.     Would you like to add anything else?

The club hopes to get support from Scottish Archery with advertising and funding in order to allow us to continue to grow. We have done really well using our own initiative so far and feel we are now sustainable as a club to be able to attract experienced archers to our membership as well as offer beginners the chance to join.

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