BOGNOR has been chosen as one of the venues for a scheme to build on the rising popularity of archery following the 2012 Olympics - and the Observer has helped make sure it hits the target.
Archery GB have teamed up with Butlins for a programme which will see children and families visiting the Bognor resort and other Butlins sites given top-level coaching in the sport.
The initiative is called Shooting for Gold and was launched at Bognor by Team GB coach Lloyd Brown and up-and-coming GB archers Becky Martin and Bryony Pitman.
Among guests who picked up a bow and arrow for the first time were Observer sports editor Steve Bone and his children Zara, 13, and Adam, ten.
GB coach Brown said: “I think Shooting for Gold is a great way to get more people interested in our sport and motivated to take up archery.
“Butlins attracts 50,000 or 60,000 kids in a year. It’s amazing. I’ve seen it for myself, the classes all fill up. We may need to have more classes to cope with demand!”
Shooting for Gold will see families coached under the watchful eye of Archery GB-approved instructors.
The idea is that they aim for blue, red or gold badges, based on what they learn about the sport and their scores.
All the family can take part and they will each receive certificates for their achievements and advice on how to get more involved and find their local club.
The award is part of the 2012 legacy aimed at inspiring a generation and providing a pathway into archery.
Archery GB chairman David Harrison said: “This is a great opportunity to get all the family involved in our fantastic sport and perhaps, inspire the Olympians and Paralympians of the future.
“That’s what’s so great about archery. It gives everyone the chance to fulfil their potential, whether that’s being the best in the world or just having a great time shooting arrows with your friends and family.”
Mike Godolphin, entertainments director at Butlins, said “It’s really important for us to be constantly evolving and developing the experience for our guests, especially if it is something that families can try together for the first time.”
So how did the Bone family do? Steve said: “I don’t think the GB selectors need to worry about my own efforts, but Adam and Zara loved it - and Zara hit the gold target three times.”