Get Inspired: How to get into Archery

Archery graphic
Fast Answers
Why get into archery?Archery can take place indoors or outdoors so you can do it all year round. Plus it's incredibly sociable.
Who is it for?It's a very low-impact sport which means anyone can take part whatever your fitness level.
Is there a cheap option?Many clubs provide basic equipment for hire or, on occasion, for free. Specialist archery shops often provide a rental service.
What if I want a proper workout?Mastering the art of archery takes upper body and core strength. It also helps improve cardiovascular fitness.
Can I take it to another level?You can train regularly in one of over 1,100 clubs around the UK and receive expert coaching to perfect your aim and get you ready for competition.
Is there a disability option?There are now many disability options that can take people all the way to competition levels.
Is there a family option?Head down to of the many 'have a go' archery events at activity centres, holiday parks, outdoor shows and tourist attractions across the UK.

Archery is the age-old art of propelling an arrow towards a target with unerring accuracy. As a competitive sport or just a recreational activity, it's very popular all across Britain - there over 1240 registered archery clubs teeming with budding archers. Fancy joining them? Further information about the sport can be found on the English Archery Federation,Welsh Archery Association,Scottish Archery Association and Northern Ireland Archery Society websites.


close up of hand next to arrows

Archery doesn't require a lot of mobility making it accessible to a huge range of people. It is, however, a good workout helping you build muscle endurance and flexibility, develop hand eye coordination and body strength. It's a very social activity and provides the opportunity to shoot in a social setting and participate in friendly club and inter-club competitions (indoor in winter, outdoor in summer). Check out Archey GB for lots of information and tips on how to get started.

Target Archery

Target archery

Most people will be familiar with target archery as it's the most popular form of the sport and the current Olympic discipline. Participants shoot a certain number of arrows at stationary circular targets over distances of up to 100 yards for men and 80 yards for women. The target consists of 10 rings and the closer the arrow lands to the inner ring of the target, the more points you score- simple! Target archery is popular over the winter as it can be practised indoors.

Field Archery

Field archery

If you fancy a day in the countryside practising your archery then take to the woodlands and give field archery a go! Often practised on rough terrain, this form of the sport is popular with those wanting to practise their technique for outdoor bow hunting. You'll have to battle with the elements such as wind and levels of sunlight in addition to the terrain- so make sure you're wearing appropriate clothing and footwear. The shooting distances are frequently unmarked so that archers have to rely on judgement and instinct, particularly if they choose to shoot without any aids or with the traditional longbow.

Archery galore!

Usami Sensei performing Kyudo

There are many forms of archery played across the world. The activity is seeped in history, as can be seen by the variations of the game. From Clout Archery, where arrows are shot from long range; to Flight Archery, where shooters compete to see who can shoot the furthest; to Popinjay Archery, where archers are challenged with the task of shooting vertically upwards to dislodge birds from their perch; to Kyudo, a Japanese martial art form of archery. This list is in no way exhaustive, but demonstrates the amount of options you have if you start to wander through the world of archery.

Disability Archery

Disability Archery

Whether you're visually impaired, in a wheelchair or have another learning or physical disabilities, clubs around the country have facilities to cater for a wide range of disabilities making archery a truly inclusive sport. There are also many occasions for participants to take part in competitions both locally, nationally and internationally, so if you've got the archery bug then join a club and see just how far you could go!

Youth Archery

Young archery

As well as being a great way to teach discipline and self-control, archery also offers children who do not normally participate in physical activity the opportunity to take part in something fun which doesn't require high levels of cardio fitness. Arrows has been created to introduce primary school aged children to archery in a fun and safe environment and has resources designed for coordinators who have little or no experience in the sport to deliver simple activities and competitions. If you're looking to introduce archery to children either in a school as an after school activity, Archery GB has all the information you need.


volunteers working on archery event at the 2012 Olympics

Volunteers can make a critical contribution - activities like archery could not survive without them. All clubs need a chair, secretary and treasurer to help things run smoothly as well as officials, coaches and judges. Whatever role you're interested in, visit Archery GB's volunteer page. Join in UK, Volunteer Scotland and Volunteer Now in Northern Ireland can also help you find a club.


Roger Crang

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Roger Crang was named BBC West Sport's 2012 Unsung Hero for his work in archery

Whether you have played in the past or just have a keen interest in developing talent, coaching opportunities are available through the Archery governing bodies in the UK. Scottish Archery offers information on how to become a coach as well as where to look for a coach suitable for your club. You can also share your hints and tips with other coaches on their online discussion forum. Find details of coaching courses and conferences on Northern Ireland archery and the Welsh Archery Association has a whole website dedicated to coaching where you'll find contacts, a diary of events and links to relevant documents. Sport Coach UK & Archery GB can also steer you in the right direction.

Aspire to be like: Danielle Brown

Inspire to be like Danielle Brown

What's next?

1. Go to our Activity Finder to get into archery near you.

2. Contact your local club by using Archery GB club finder.

3. Share your story and inspire others.

Are you inspired to try Archery? Or maybe you are a seasoned enthusiast already? Get in touch and tell us your experience of the activity by tweeting us on @bbcgetinspired, visit us on Facebook or email us on

See our full list of activity guides for more inspiration.

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