Being a wheelchair users does not mean you cannot do any sports, even if you do not have a grip function or full arms movement. Quite the opposite. There are many options out there, sometimes all you need is a bit of adaptive equipment.
We didn’t think it would be possible for Shane to do archery due to limited hand function. Fortunately, when on holiday in Wales, Shane decided to have a go at it and it not only turned out to be possible, but also great fun and something we can both enjoy doing together all year round.
It wasn’t long after we found out that there is a local archery club (Tyndale Archers Tyndale Archers Home Page) and they were very happy for us to come to a ”have a go” session. The club members turned out to be very welcoming, friendly and supportive. We learned a lot and, at the same time, had a good laugh. We were invited to the beginners course that we both completed in June 2021.
We both used club’s bows for a while, but Shane was advised to buy his own compound bow with release aid, so it would be easier for him to pull the string back. Compound bow was designed for hunting and, therefore, allows time for aiming without using much strength to pull back the string. We went to Wales Archery Specialists shop (Wales Archery Specialist Is a uk based archery shop since 1964) where we were advised which equipment is best for us and we could also try it all out before buying. Shane bought his own compound bow and, together with the specialist from the shop, adapted the release aid so that he is now able to pull back a string with his mouth. Except for the release aid, he uses an active hand to hold the bow. All I need to do to help is to load the arrows and retrieve them from the target, which means we can easily shoot together at the same time.
Our club has two sessions a week. From spring to autumns, we shoot outdoors, with available distances of 10 – 100 yards and in winter, we shoot 20 yard targets indoors. The club also meets every second Sunday of the month outdoors, all year round.
Our club sometimes organizers fun shooting, with different type of targets to aim for, fancy dress shooting, barbecue, cake and competitions.
To see your progress, you can score your arrows and earn tockington badges (green, white, black, blue, red and gold).
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to try archery and have any questions. You can also find us on Facebook and see the video of Shane using his compound bow and release aid.
We would really like to encourage you to find your local club and try archery, it is a fun sport for all ages and abilities.