The fledgling Tenterfield Traditional Archers Incorporated has now secured a plot of land on which to operate, with mayor Peter Petty and committee members Bob and Marian Rogan signing a lease on around 27 hectares of land off Scrub Rd near Tenterfield Dam.
The first working bee has been carried out onsite to knock the block into some degree of order, although the club is keen to maintain its countryside appeal. The area’s history as a municipal dump, however, is turning up some interesting artefacts from the 1940s and 50s, but that’s not bothering the crew and they think the location is perfect.
“It’s nice and accessible, with views of the dam and swans from certain spots,” Mrs Rogan said.
“It’s all natural scrub and regrowth and quite picturesque, with granite outcrops.
“Visitors will enjoy it. It’s like a slice of Tenterfield.”
The Rogans and other club members practise field archery, emulating hunting methods of old, in contrast to the more high-tech archery viewers may have seen during various Olympic Games. Field archery employs long bows and recurve bows, and no sights or other aids. Accuracy depends entirely on the skill of the practitioner and their hand/eye coordination.
“Like Robin Hood, you have to rely on your own skill,” Mr Rogan said.
In fact making your own bows and arrows can be part of the experience, with workshops to be offered.
The Rogans and other experienced club members will be offering guidance to new members, with no prerequisite skills or experience required. These will probably take the form of monthly training days. Mr Rogan was once an accredited coach, and Mrs Rogan has been involved in field archery since 1976.
They are most excited at the prospect of attracting entire families to the sport, saying there’s no age restrictions.
Now the lease has been signed, the next step is toilet facilities, an undercover common area, car parks and a septic tank, as specified in the development application.
The club will also be designing and building courses, called ranges. Each will encompass 9-10 acres, with an almost circular route similar to a golf course. Each range will incorporate a 1.2 kilometre track around 12 or more targets.
Safety is a top priority, and the club has already undertaken a risk assessment as prescribed by the Australian Traditional Archers organisation to which it belongs.
Official opening day is planned for the end of September, with the club’s first public sign-on day onsite. In the meantime it’s busy fundraising with raffles and seeking grants for the $21,000 of improvements destined for the site, and would also welcome any sponsorship from local businesses who could contribute to getting the facilities up and operational.
Early membership signups are encouraged, so people can be in on the ground floor of the club’s creation. To that end, discounted probationary memberships are being offered at a cost of $20 for adults and $10 for under 18s.
Call Mr Rogan on 0412 261 593 for further info, or request to join the Tenterfield Traditional Archers Inc. group on Facebook.