Getting Started

A beginners guide to archery

Archery is a sport where competitors use bows to shoot arrows at a target. It is an Olympic sport that has been enjoyed throughout the ages and since 1988, British archers have won 10 medals at the Olympic Games. Alison Williamson, who won a bronze at Athens in 2004, has represented Britain at the last five Olympic Games. Team GB has also won 23 Paralympic medals since 1980, including four in  Beijing.

Forms of archery

Target Archery is the current Olympic form of the sport. This popular form of archery takes place on flat terrain and consists of shooting a given number of arrows, known as a round, at targets over distances of up to 100 yards for men and 80 yards for women. Juniors have their own special shorter distances depending on age. Indoor archery with its smaller target faces and closer distances is very popular during the winter months. Field Archery – takes place on a course of targets set out in rough country (often woodland). The shooting distances are frequently unmarked so that archers have to rely on judgement and instinct, particularly if they elect to shoot without sighting aids or with the traditional longbow.

How do I get involved

Anyone interested in taking up archery can contact the club, either by using the Contact us Page, messaging us on Facebook or Instagram. In order to join Red Dragon Archers you would be required to take a Beginners course run by the club, unless you are already an experienced archer. Courses cost £40 per person. This consists of a minimum of 9 hours learning. covering a basic understanding of technique and disciplines for shooting in safety and with relative accuracy. Courses are organised and supervised by qualified coaches and are held in our indoor venue. Archery GB’s insurance covers beginners for six lessons  received at the  club but if they wish to continue shooting after that, they must become members of Archery GB. Please retun the Beginners course application form found on the Beginners Course Page to get involved.


We will provide all the equipment for a beginners course and if available  for up to 3 months after joining. We will ensure that the equipment is in full working order and is right for you, the equipment you will be using for the beginners course will be the same for all 6 sessions.


On joining an archery club, new members pay an annual subscription. The subscription is paid to the club, who then pay county and regional associations, and the Archery GB affiliation fee on behalf of the member. An annual cost of about  £80  for a senior  member , with reduced fees for juniors and those with disabilities. There is also a small target fee, £3 per session for an adult and £2 for juniors. For those entering the sport for the first time, archery equipment can prove expensive, but as previously mentioned the  club will lend equipment for a short time. As a guide, the cost of basic equipment (bow, arrows, arm guard, finger tab, quiver etc), will be approximately £100-£300. Second hand equipment can represent a significant saving but should always be considered only after an inspection by an experienced archer.

I have a disablilty

What’s in it for You? If you are someone thinking of ‘having a go’ at archery, you are likely to have some questions like– Where do I start?  Is it safe  for me to do so? What are the facilities? What is the access like? Etc. Whatever your query, we will do our best to help you find an answer. Archery has always been in the forefront of integration between able-bodied and disabled participants. We share the same shooting line, tolerate the same weather and compete for the same trophies -and frequently win them!! We have a Paralympics squad to be proud of and to aspire to. The club structure of Archery GB ensures that there will be a level of activity to suit your needs and provide you with enjoyable recreation or challenging competition. Please visit our  Disability Archery  page for more information or feel free to contact the Head Coach to discuss via our Contact Us page.