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Cross Sport Conference Success and Reflections

23 Apr 2024

At the weekend, Scottish Archery and Scottish Fencing delivered a two day Club & Coach Conference at the Stirling Court Hotel, part of University of Stirling.  We had around 40 attendees across the two days from both sports along with staff from Horse Scotland.  This included representation across a variety clubs: Balbardie Archers, Bannockburn Bowmen, Crieff Archery Club (A.C), Dundee A.C, East Kilbride A.C, Falkirk Company of Archers, Glasgow Archers, Links Archers, Monklands A.C, Pentland Archers, Perth A.C and Salle Holyrood.

The aim of the conference was to offer coaches, club volunteers and sports enthusiasts the opportunity to come together to learn, share ideas, network, feel inspired and more knowledgeable & confident across various topics.  There was significant value in this approach and looking forward to welcoming and bringing people together again for future events.


On the Saturday, sportscotland’s Ruari Davidson kicked things off by opening the conference, emphasising the value of cross sport collaboration as well the importance of investing in the workforce.  Alex Johnstone of Spirit of 2012 and Pam Dewar of sportscotland delivered the opening workshop on Funding.  This was a really insightful session which focused on ensuring that when applying for funding that there is a focus on the change and impact your activity has on communities and individuals – particularly around improving physical, mental and social wellbeing.  In the afternoon, Victoria Clark from Active Advantage got the group’s creative juices flowing with a session which focused on ways to foster and ignite people’s passion to support ways to become more creative.  In the evening we were treated to an equipment masterclass by the familiar archery coaching duo Bill Mackay and Iain Wilson with around 80 years of joint experience.  Bill & Iain led a discussion about arrows which looked at common questions including around the maintenance and upkeep.


We also had Graham Armstrong from Red Frog Archery who are the only archery retailer in Scotland.  Graham showcased some of the latest products on the market including recurve bow risers and limbs and we appreciate Graham’s time to come along and do this. 


Scottish Sporting Futures (SSF) lead the delivery of workshops on the Sunday with Rohanna Irvine, Shabaz Khan and Scott McDonald with Putting the Person First, Mental Health Informed Practice and Goal Setting. All three workshops emphasised the importance of relationships and connecting with others by adopting a person-centred approach.


Phyllis Pettett from Falkirk Company Archers shared her experience of the weekend:


‘‘Enjoyed the topics covered, very informative and great interactive sessions.  It was good to network with other sports and make new connections.’’


GB Fencing Head Coach & Salle Holyrood coach Keith Cook stated:


‘‘Fantastic to see how coaching is more than focusing on the technical aspects and highlighted how key it is on developing the person rather than the athlete.  Looking at how the coach can have a positive influence on someone’s life was an interesting area to explore.’’


Thanks to all the above presenters who made the conference a success, sportscotland for their support and presence, to the venue – Stirling Court Hotel for welcome and hospitality and of course most importantly to everyone who attended and contributed to what was a great weekend of learning, sharing and fun.

Check out this video here which is some footage of the weekend.

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