30 Oct 2023
new club activity coming to mull & iona community
We recently spoke to Paul Stronach who has setup a brand new club called Mull & Iona Archers, bringing archery to the Argyll & Bute area. The aim of the club is to be an all inclusive club that can allow the community to socialise/enjoy no matter what your circumstances are in the sport of target archery.
Thank you Paul for taking the time to share your story about your new club you have setup - great work and wish it all the success going forward!
Check out our Q&A with Paul below:
1. Please can you give us a brief background on the club?
‘‘Mull & Iona Archers are a new archery club which was founded in 2023 in the Argyll & Bute area. We are part of the West Area and currently based at the Garmony Playing Fields. I am the current coach at the club and we offer opportunities for all levels including social, community and competitive. Furthermore we cater for all bow types including Barebow/Olympics recurve.’’
2. Where did the idea of the club originally come about?
‘‘Traditional games such as Rugby, Football and Shinty were played on Mull and as I was too old to participate in those sports. I looked to see if I could somehow continue Archery that I'd been doing for nearly 45years. So asking the community if anyone was interested garnered a great response from both young and old. With that knowledge to hand it was just the small matter of 1. a place to shoot; 2. equipment to shoot with and at. 3. create a club fit for purpose.’’
3. What is your club's overall aim and objectives?
‘‘As I only have one member at the moment (myself) initially it will be to recruit actual members from the Islands. Remember, I've called the club Mull & Iona Archers for a reason, Iona is an important part of what makes Mull a great place to come too, its only right that the residents get included in the chance to partake in a sport thats older than the first inhabitants on the island. Overall its aim is to be an all inclusive club that can allow the community to socialise/enjoy no matter what your circumstances are in the sport of target archery.’’
4. Can you talk us through your club development journey?
‘‘Knowing that there was interest from the initial question I put to the community and that I wanted to make sure all the boxes were ticked in terms of creating a club correctly. I thought about what I might have to do first. I decided that whilst covid was still around that I would get myself qualified to be a coach. So over Nov/Dec 2022 I completed all the online courses required. Living on an island made this also a matter of course. Once that was done it was time to decide where I could shoot. In this the Mull Rugby ground and its two pitches with a clubhouse already established proved the prime location. Mull rugby club and the committee were very receptive and supportive once I had shown my proposal. The final piece of the puzzle in my eyes was to ensure that the club in trying to get it established had a level of equipment that made it easy for anyone regardless of their age or size could shoot. I knew to do this I had to go and purchase this initially myself. I was helped amazingly by Merlin Archery to budget for equipment that would suit any eventuality at the start. After spending this money that was it, I was all in so what the heck lets get a club shirt made. Logo and design bespoke to Mull & Iona. Tick, Tick and Tick. Now on to the main challenge. Registration of the club both with ArcheryGB and Scottish Archery. This got done with great support from both bodies and a lot of patience at my bombardment of questions and queries.’’
5. Have you worked with any particular people/partners?
‘‘In trying to research options in creating the club I had an opportunity to talk with Andrew Kelly from Moray Archery Club. What should have been just a 1 hour meeting ended up being nearly 4 hours. I will always be grateful for the knowledge and experience Andrew gave.
Another note of support was from Merlin Archery not only for giving me a great quote but when they did this, they gave notes on their reasoning for what I needed. Logistically once placing the order it was going to be a long drive to collect and return to the island. Merlin Archery helped by getting all the order transfered to the County Durham store which reduced travel time enormously for me.
Throughout all of the work to create the club, register it and make sure all points were covered I am forever grateful to Euan Murray and the development team. Helping obtain any other credentials i needed and registration with JustGo which has been a great tool to use once you understand what it can do for your club..’’
6. What do you think makes the club unique?
‘‘I would say this is an easy question to answer however I feel akin to most other islands that already have an established club and dont want to steal anyone else's quote. A club with some of the most amazing backdrop of views you can get. But thats me being biased!’’
7. Do you have any projects you are working on as a club?
‘‘Only to get some 'have a go' sessions on around the island in various community areas. From that see who would be interested in joining and completing further beginner courses. On my first have a go that was organised but "rained off" I had over 60 people registered to fill 30 spaces. If I can get 10% of them joining I see that as a good result.’’
8. Are there any particular challenges the club face?
‘‘Weather is an important factor all year round. The rugby ground has plans to build an indoor sports facility, this would in one fell swoop cover a lot of the challenges.’’
9. What future goals do you have as a club?
‘‘The club has taken its time to gestate and over the winter its all about recruitment/registration and retention. I have loved the book 'How to build a fantastic Archery Club' by Pete Hill.’’
Have you been inspired by this story and keen to have your club in the spotlight?
Check out this form here