Wymondham Archers celebrated their 10th birthday on Saturday 7th January 2023. A lovely occasion where their Chair Pete Hill took the opportunity to share some words with the guests and also eat some cake; something, Archers love to do.
Pete shared that being 10 years old was one thing, but wanted to recognise the club's conception where the founder members at the Green Dragon in Wymondham decided to begin an Archery Club back in 2012. The Club was inaugurated on January 7th 2013. Pete Hill, the chair for the last 7 years, shared his gratitude to Andy Beer and David Morley, two of the founder members of the Club.
Wymondham Archers is now measured as the 3rd largest Archery Club in the UK (except university clubs). As Pete said "Who would have considered that possible?" The Club has grown hugely since the early days of throwing £2 in a tin, with 35 members, and an average of 55 years, with three archery sessions per week. Wymondham Archers now provides 365 days per year for outdoor Archery as well as 7 days per week for 7 months per year indoors. As Pete says, "A rare provision for Archery in the UK." Today Wymondham Archers average age is just over 38 years, a massive 17 years younger than in 2013. Membership consists of around 30%+ women and girls. They have a large cohort of LGBTQ+ participation. Their oldest Archer is 89, their youngest being only 7 (a child of one of the Archers). Currently Wymondham Archers has 258 members. "There is a joke, that Archers are very much not team players." Pete says, "But we truly seem to be egalitarian."
Archers travel to Wymondham Archers from Wymondham (naturally), from Norwich, and wider afield in Norfolk. They also travel from Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Bedfordshire with one Archer registered as living in Hong Kong. Very much a Community Club, Wymondham Archers reach out to people who come to Club for some R&R, for some respite, to be with their families. And he jokes... "To get away from their families," to make friends and help build a lovely community and of course shoot some arrows. Wymondham Archers are proud to have podium Archers competing on the International, National and Local stage and are expecting to grow to the largest Archery Club in the UK this year.
Pete thanked Wymondham Rugby Football Club, recognising that Wymondham Archers wouldn't be where they are today if it wasn't for the Rugby Club's kindness in partnering with them in 2018. Over the last year alone close to 5000 shooting opportunities have been made to the outdoor range at the Rugby Club by the Archers. Wymondham Archers also partner with Norfolk Showground where they opened an indoor Archery Range in September 2022. More than 1700 visits have been made there by the Archers since then.
Pete, also shared his gratitude to a host of grant supporters over the years, informing the guests that Wymondham Archers simply wouldn't have been able to provide such facilities if it wasn't for them. Grant providers include Wymondham Town Council, Saffron Housing Association, South Norfolk District Council, British Sugar and Armultra, Archery GB and Sport England. But also included the fantastic support from their own club members with Easyfundraising. Wymondham Archers has also supported Nelson's Journey over two recent charity events raising more than £3K for children and young people whose lives have been affected by bereavement. Other events the Club gets involved with include the Festival of Sport at Holkham where they introduce hundreds of kids of all ages shooting thousands of arrows in getting people interested in Archery... "The new National Sport", as Pete cheekily suggests.
And, as Pete suggests 'Archer and Team' seem incongruous but shared with the party that the team of committee and members at Wymondham Archers is what makes the Club so incredible, "It is truly a team effort." He says, thanking all of those members who step to do a bit for the benefit of the club and its members. "It wouldn't be what it is without our volunteers." He added, "We've introduced hundreds of people to Archery over the years and continue to bring people into Archery."
If you are interested in getting into archery with Wymondham Archers, just visit wymondhamarchers.co.uk and get in touch.