New club secures major coup to host national championships

Marian Rogan gives young archer Elsie Cross some tips on the practice range. Juniors are being encouraged to represent the club at the National Muster in October.
Marian Rogan gives young archer Elsie Cross some tips on the practice range. Juniors are being encouraged to represent the club at the National Muster in October.

New sporting club Tenterfield Traditional Archers had a plan to host its first interclub in October. That plan has morphed into the biggest interclub possible with Tenterfield being asked to host the 2018 National Muster.

In a coup for the young club and its industrious organisers – and for the town – archers associated with Traditional Archery Australia will contest the Australian championships here on October 6 and 7.

The club’s Marian Rogan said she knew its geographical location was in the club’s favour to attract interest from other clubs, but the invitation from the national organisation to host the championships came as a complete shock.

Initially she said it was too early in the club’s formation, and most such events have onsite camping which the Scrub Road venue doesn’t offer. After exploring camping opportunities at the showground, though, she and husband Bob put up their hands for the undertaking, as long as they got some help.

She also insisted that officials check the site to make sure it’s up to the task. That inspection has been done and the officials were impressed by what’s been achieved in a short timeframe.

Bob Rogan introduces Harris Nicholson to the traditional bow.

Bob Rogan introduces Harris Nicholson to the traditional bow.

The National Muster was held in Mudgee last year. With clubs typically located along the coast from Sydney right up to Brisbane, however, a more central location was sought.

The major event will also act as the official opening of the club, by MP Thomas George and mayor Peter Petty at 8.30am on the Saturday before the championships get underway. Mrs Rogan said Tenterfield Shire Council in general and chief executive Terry Dodd in particular have been very supportive, and tourism info bags will be distributed to the competitors.

It’s early days to gauge how many archers and their entourages the event will bring to town, but registrations are already coming in. Mrs Rogan guesses anywhere from 50 to 150 competitors, but it could even be 200 or more.

She is keen to see a strong showing of local entries, particularly among the juniors as they’re the future of the club.

“We’ve just got to get them addicted, and that’s easy to do,” Mrs Rogan said.

“They have to organise their membership to make them eligible, and then we can start some coaching for the nationals.”

Logistically the club has six months to organise catering and facilities, but Mrs Rogan is aiming for a good, fun, relaxed weekend.

There will also be an opportunity for spectators to see some of the action, with speed rounds undertaken on the practice range at the front of the facility once the field rounds have been completed. In the speed rounds competitors have to shoot and score as much as they can in a limited timeframe, including moving targets such as discs.

While undertaken the National Muster is daunting, Mrs Rogan is confident it will be worth the effort.

“This is so beneficial to the club,” she said.

“It’s so good in every way. We’ve proved that we can do it.

“We proved that Tenterfield needed a club, and we got one and we’re on the board already.”

She said now the club has to prove it can mount a successful national event, and then there’s a chance Tenterfield could become the regular venue.

In the meantime any volunteer contributions to help get the club ready – even stuffing bales to create targets – would be greatly appreciated.

Mrs Rogan can be contacted on 0412 261 593.

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