Archery For Children: Fun Facts & Ideas
Expert advice and interesting facts
- The first recorded use of the bow and arrow was in Germany around 10,000 BC.
- Archery was a development of spear throwing.
- Many ancient armies used archers to try and reduce the numbers of the enemy before the swordsmen started battle.
- Even after firearms had been invented, many armies still preferred to use bows and arrows.
- Archery had a revival in the 18th century with many clubs and societies amongst the English gentry.
- Many deities and heroes from different cultures are portrayed as archers such as Cupid, Artemis, Apollo, Heracles and Shiva.
- An archery lover is known as a toxophilite.
- Archery is the national sport of Bhutan, with a archery range in most villages.
- The arrow travels at about 240km/h when fired from a bow but some competitors can make speeds of over 320km/h.
- Kyudo is a martial art that features archery.
- Archery has been in the Olympics on-and-off since 1900. Nowadays there are four Olympic events.
- In a tournament, an archer will pick up and draw his bow over 300 times, the equivalent of picking up 7.8 tons over 4 days!
- Arrows were traditionally made of wood, but are these days usually made of carbon fibre.
How to pick an archery club for your child
What do you need to consider when choosing an archery coach for your child?
- What is the reason your child wants to learn archery? Is it just for fun or would they like to enter competitions? Are they looking for a way to meet new friends or are they interested in becoming the next Robin Hood? Whatever the reason – does this coach or club meet your child’s needs?
- Do you need to buy any special equipment or is everything provided by the club or coach?
National associations & clubs
The Grand National Archery Society (GNAS) is now known as ArcheryGB and is the governing body for the sport in Great Britain.
Qualifications/grades - children
Those interested in archery will not face a formal grading scheme. However, ability levels will be reflected in the level of competition that your child may wish to undertake.
For those that are really interested in archery, they may wish to get the necessary qualifications to become a coach themselves.
Qualifications of tutors/coaches etc
The following are awarded from GNAS:
Level 1 – can help run a beginners course.
Level 2 – can run a beginners course and support level 1 coaches.
Level 3 – County Archery coaching qualification.
Level 4 – Senior Archery coaching qualification.
Learning from the activity
- Physical fitness
- Gross motor skills
- Hand/eye coordination
The main skills your child will pick up from practicing archery are discipline, independence and maturity. This is due to the dangerous and individual nature of the sport. Your child will also develop their focus, concentration and hand-eye coordination, especially with depth of vision. The intricate details of the sport also develop your child’s fine motor skills and the constant lifting and pulling will develop arm strength.
By joining an archery club a child can also enjoy the social side of the sport which provides them with plenty of opportunities to make a new circle of friends.
Alison Williamson (born November 3, 1971 ) is a well-known archer for Team GB. She has competed in 5 Olympics games since 1992, winning a bronze medal in Athens 2004.
William Tell – The legend goes that all the occupants of Tell’s village were ruled by a horrible invader who ordered all the villagers to bow down to his hat which he had placed on top of a pole. Tell, after refusing to bow down to his invader’s hat was given two options; the execution of him and his son, or he would have to shoot an apple off his son’s head. Tell was able to split the apple in half in one shot.
Fred Bear (1902 –1988) was a latecomer to the activity, taking up bow-hunting at the age of 29. However he is now widely recognised as a pioneer for the sport. There is a museum in his name and he has been inducted to the archery hall of fame.
Katniss Everdeen – The protagonist of the Hunger Games trilogy shows the young girl using her bow and arrows for real life survival. Not only does this include the competition but you see her using it for hunting food and for self-defence.
The bow and arrow was the weapon of choice for Robin Hood, whose mission it was to make income and taxing fairer amongst the villagers around Sherwood Forest. A story tells of the time where, in a competition to win a kiss from Maid Marian, Robin’s competitor had got a perfect bull’s-eye, with one shot left from Robin himself. He shot the arrow in another perfect bulls eye, splitting the previous arrow into two pieces.