It’s time to unlock your child’s inner Katniss Everdeen as seen in the Hunger Games or perhaps Robinhood depending on your generation. When it comes to improving hand-eye coordination, refining focus and serving up a giant dose of fun, (and getting them off video games), the sport of Archery is right on target.
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Archery for kids is a fast-growing unique sport and the best thing about it is that there are clubs all across Brisbane so your child can have a try before you invest in any archery equipment.
There are some age minimums to consider but archery is a sport that welcomes kids of all ages which makes it perfect for when you have multiple kids. You can always start the younger children on some suction-cup arrows and plastic bows which are perfectly safe for use at home and an early archery experience (see below for more information on this).
Where can kids learn archery?
Mount Petrie Bowman
As one of the first archery clubs to establish in the Brisbane district, Mount Petrie Bowman is home to a friendly family of qualified instructors. It has sustained an unblemished reputation for decades, making it a great place for youngsters to embark on their archery journey and caters to a range of skill levels.
A multitude of ‘Come & Try’ courses are offered that incorporate kids’ archery. However, due to safety regulations, the minimum age of participants is 10 years old. These courses are run often throughout the year and incorporate safe, modern equipment along with experienced instructors. Bookings need to be made online beforehand. Location: Belmont Shooting Complex, 1485 Old Cleveland Rd. For further details, check out the Mount Petrie Bowman website
Centenary Archers Club
With 1984 seeing the birth of this entirely volunteer-run club, archery in Brisbane hit an all-new high. Centenary Archers Club has always radiated positive vibes and a safe, family-friendly atmosphere and is a good place to start when wanting to learn archery.
It happily caters for young archers, 8 years and up, providing they’re able to hold a weighted string in their hands for at least 15 seconds (key safety requirement). Parental supervision and/or assistance for children younger than 12 is appreciated. Again, there is a ‘Come & Try Archery Class’ run for beginners to hone their archery skills and master the correct form. The cost includes bow & gear hire. Location: 427 Wacol Station Road, Sumner. If you’re interested to find out more, check out the Centenary Archers Club website.
Rogue Archery- Beginner Archery League
Rogue Archery is an archery club that carves pathways for beginner archers and one suitable for amateurs itching to learn the basics of target archery in a safe setting. The ever-enjoyed Beginner Archery League lasts 6 weeks (held on 6 consecutive Saturdays) and creates diamonds out of the rough with its teaching of the Olympic recurve archery style. Through engaging games and challenges, participants soak up fundamental techniques and skills and get a glimpse of what professional archery might look like. All equipment is provided at the hands of the club.
This course is an excellent teamwork and confidence booster. Minimum age for partakers is 10 years old. Location: Carindale PCYC, 27 Narracott St, Carina QLD 4152. Keen as a bean to get started? Check out the Carindale PCYC website.
Grange Bowmen Inc
Grange Bowman Inc is a 30-year-old archery club and one amongst many others affiliated by the Australian Bowhunting Association (ABA), making it part of a great national body. In the Instructional lessons—held once a month on a Saturday—young archers are sure to flourish under experienced instruction. With the support of ‘fully accredited archery instructors’, they are presented with a safe yet fun milieu and an exciting diversity of targets to shoot at. Parental supervision/accompaniment is encouraged for youth archery.
Location: 334 Albany Creek Rd, Bridgeman Downs 4035
For more information, scope out the Grange Bowman website.
Samford Valley Target Archers
Welcome to Queensland’s oldest and largest archery club featuring a popular local archery range. The father of all archery establishments, if you’d like. It is a club rich in tradition, history and warm smiles. On the first Saturday of each month, children of age 10+ can come along for a ‘Come and Try’ beginner’s course (7:45am-11:30am).
Cost is per participant and all equipment is inclusive. However, online bookings are required. Samford is located in the Moreton Bay Region and is a great choice for anyone coming from a little further afield. There are plenty of things to do in Samford while you are waiting for your child including the very famous Harry Potter Store. Location: 2204 Mt Samson Road, Samford Valley.
Interested in shooting your shot with this club? Head to the Samford Valley Target Archers website.
Additional Archery Suggestions
Buying a bow
Buying a youth bow is often a big dollar investment which is why it is a good idea to join an archery club before you invest in a quality bow. It means your child can try their hand at archery (and see if they like it), but also you/then can receive advice from experienced archers about the best bow for them whether it be a child’s or adult bow.
Once you know the right bow to buy you can head to places like Anaconda or an archery proshop like Northside Archery Supplies at Strathpine.
If your child is a real eager beaver and simply can’t get enough of archery you could consider a backyard shooting range! This would enable extra awesome practice for your lil lad/lassie, whilst luring them away from their dreaded devices. You can purchase archery/target toy sets from—ironically—Target, Mr Toys Toyworld, Kmart, and even online at Amazon.com (just search for youth bows).
But BEWARE! If you decide to invest in a proper archery set, there may be certain laws restricting this activity on your property. To read up on Australia’s laws and recommendations, go to: http://www.archery.org.au/FAQs/General/Can-I-shoot-in-my-backyard.
Another great way to enjoy archery at home, especially for younger kids, is to invest in some rubber-tipped archery equipment including a plastic bow. If you are looking for archery gifts, generally you get what you pay for and its well worth investing in better quality indoor bows that come with their own target. Amazon is a great place to start for this because they are accompanied by purchaser reviews. We would recommend that whichever you choose, you purchase additional arrow sets from the get-go.
Don’t think these types of bows and arrows are just for little ones, there are a range of rubber tipped, sometimes whistling arrows that are targeted more at the youth market.
Why choose archery as a sport?
Archery is sure to help your child develop their hand eye coorindation and it is an accessible sport meaning that kids with all levels of ability can give it a go. It will also teach children about rules and discipline as each archery course will have set guidelines for young archers to follow to keep everyone safe. If they end up joining a club, they will also find a new sense of belonging, brought together by a common interest.
Archery for kids as a national sport
If your child decides they love archery and want to develop as a professional archer, they can! There are a range of competitive archery tournaments both indoor championships and Australian Open Field. Beyond Australia there are regional events, world events, university events and special events for archers with mixed abilities.
Archery is an ancient sport and so it makes sense that it has a permanent place at the Summer Olympics and the paralympics as an olympic sport. The type of archery that is performed at the olympics is called “recurve” which is performed with a type of bow and carbon arrow, with the athletes clearly posssessing incredible upper body strength. This demonstration of physical strength is realised by the olympic archers shooting a massive distance of 70 metres with the sport is very much focused on precision.
There are 4 Gold medals up for grabs in the main olympic competition, women’s individual, mens individual and a men and womens team medal.
The history of archery
There is evidence of archery dating back to the Paleolithic Period which is around 10,000 BC although there are arrow flints dating back as far as 20,000bc. This ancient sport was less a sport and more a way of life for hunting and warfare. Archery was especially important during the middle ages and the law even required it’s men to train as archers. If you have a special interest in the middle ages archery you should head long to an Abbey Medival Festival where archers feature as part of the festival.
As time went on gun powder replaced the bow and arrow but you can still find remote civilisations using bows and arrows today while also being a popular choice in the off grid movement.
As you have read, while archery is a unique sport, there are numerous places across Brisbane for kids to learn archery and several local professional archery shops to begin building on their sport. It is one of those rare sports where there are plenty of willing mentors to assist young archers helping them to feel like part of a wider community on their journey. The weekend offerings at most clubs with also be appreciated especially in senior schooling when weeknight sport and the training that accompanies it, no longer being practical.
Best of all, there is no need to invest in expensive equipment while your young archer begins to learn archery so they can really decide if they like it (which is the most important thing) before you have to buy anything at all other than access to the clubs.
So, with all that in mind, it’s time to get your young archer out on the range! Tell them to pick up their bow and arrow and shoot for the stars. As Effie Trinket from The Hunger Games would say, ‘may the odds be ever in your favour’.