Name: Sam Bucknall
Position: Club President
Hometown: London
Course: Medicinal and Biological Chemistry

How does the competitive side of archery work?

We have two phases to our year, the indoor and outdoor season. During the indoor season we fire at 60cm targets from 20 yards away. During the outdoor season we fire at larger targets between 80 and 144cm across from up to 100 metres away.
In most of the competitions we enter, there is a novice category, so even beginners can win medals in their first few months.

Do you archers ever re-enact the firing of an arrow into an apple resting on someone’s head?

Not properly. The original was done with a crossbow, which is far too inaccurate. Though it was once done with a mini compound bow from about a metre away – and the person with the apple was wearing a fencing face guard!

Have any birds/butterflies/other flying animals ever been accidentally speared by an arrow?

Yes! Birds don’t seem to notice what we are doing, and fly across the range. I have seen a couple of birds taken out just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Though that sort of thing tends to hamper the score, it makes for good bragging rights.

When you tell people what sport you play, do they expect you to dress in Robin Hood type outfits?

Only one or two. But especially being in Nottingham, you always get comments about ‘playing Robin Hood’… Though we do have a stock of the Robin Hood hats for when we go away to big competitions.

By Ben Bloom

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