It is official, the population is forbidden to play or watch sport of no value, ‘such as football’. Well, if we were living in Edward III’s England in 1349, it would be true! Instead, the population was encouraged to practise the long bow every Sunday and not let anything deflect them from honing this important skill. At the Break O’Day Field Archery Club we agree whole heartedly with this declaration and are now having archery club shoots every single Sunday.
A very interesting paper ‘Painful pastime versus present pleasure: Tudor Archery and the Law’ written by Jonathan Davies (just google this for a copy), talks about the history of archery and how its importance was interwoven with the very structure of society for many hundreds of years.
‘The bow demanded fine physique and long practice’, and that the best archers were ‘bothe lustye in bodye, & able to abyde the wether, & can shoote a good stronge shoote’.
The bow … encouraged physical fitness and healthy competition in an activity that bound all members of society together in defence of their country, irrespective of their order or rank.
I will be the first to admit that on very frosty winter mornings it can be difficult to get out of bed, but being both lusty in body, able to abide the weather and active participants in different areas of St Helen’s society, the members of the Break O’Day Field Archery Club will be down at the big blue bus ready to start at 9.00 am every Sunday.
The public will see our members being very busy archers over the next two months as we have a Tasmanian wide invitational two-day shooting extravaganza occurring at Dianas Basin on the 16th and 17th of September. Only invited members of affiliated archery clubs will be eligible to attend and it will be the very first Australian Bowhunters Association (ABA) shoot of this kind held in Tasmania. We tentatively notified archers about this event earlier in the year, when we were in the initial stages of planning and we expect we shall have quite a crowd attending. Now is the time to become members as you still have time to gain some basic skills and join in the fun.
The Break O’Day Field Archery Club is the original and largest ABA archery club in Tasmania, with lots of ‘firsts’ under its belt. Come along for a visit and we will happily introduce you to archery. This includes anyone in a wheelchair as we have had archers from the mainland comment that our course is suitable for a range of different physical abilities. Hope to see you soon.
Brady Young, President.