Wheathampstead archery club aiming for big crowds at have-a-go session

Wheathampstead Archery Club

Wheathampstead Archery Club - Credit: Archant

Archery enthusiasts are targeting a good turnout for a spring have-a-go session despite having nearly all their shooting equipment stolen in a break-in last autumn.

Wheathampstead Archery Club has fought back from the shock of the callous burglary at its previous storage facility in the village which resulted in its beginners’ kits, worth £2,500, being stolen.

And now it is gearing up for the free session from midday to 4pm next Saturday, March 12, which is being held at Folly Fields in Wheathampstead and is open to all.

Club chairman and head coach Tony Cobb said the break-in had been a huge shock for the club which was founded in 1956 has seen its membership jump to over 50 recently.

The burglary happened at a time when the weather was cooling down so fewer people were using the facilities. The storage facility had not been visited for a few days when the theft was discovered.

Although the targets were not stolen, the club lost its stock of beginners’ bows which are lighter and easier for newcomers to pull.

Tony said: “It was quite devastating and then we found out that through a clerical error that we weren’t insured.”

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But members and supporters of the club rallied round to offer and loan kit and Tony added: “It has been a hard time but we are back on our feet. We had raised money to replace the storage facility anyway and hopefully the new one is far more secure.”

The club attracts members from around the St Albans district, Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City. It is not competition-oriented and makes new members very welcome.

Tony added: “We offer archery in a safe and fun setting and it is really encouraging to see folk of all ages getting out on the field and learning the sport.”

After the have-a-go session, which is open to adults and children aged 10 and upwards accompanied by parents, a four-week beginners course starts on April 9.