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Chiltern Archery An introductory course

It was a serendipitous typographical error during a Google search that led me to discover Chiltern Archery. As soon as I realised that there was an indoor range tucked away just past Wendover, I was on the phone and had soon talked a friend into joining me on the introductory course, consisting of three two-hour lessons. I had enjoyed an outdoor course in

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my twenties, and remember the feeling of amazement when I hit gold and went trooping off to retrieve wooden arrows with feather fletches. Archery may not be the most athletic pursuit but pulling arrows from a straw boss is hard work! At Chiltern Archery I was delighted to find that, since paper target faces on foam bosses are more common, the retrieval of lightweight arrows is a breeze! The course gives you the basics of

building your bow from a kit, correct stance and, most importantly, teaches you the safety aspects that qualify you both to join an archery club and gain the necessary insurance. Chiltern Archery has an extensively-stocked and competently-staffed archery shop and the UK’s largest indoor range, enabling members to shoot all year round, even in November when the outdoor season ends. Members can use the outdoor range free of charge all year round if they return the equipment. There’s a nominal charge for an hour’s use of the indoor range, Monday to Saturday. It’s popular with experienced archers and with parents and children from eight years and upwards.

I bought a basic bow and joined the club after the course, and have since discovered many benefits over the main attraction for me, which was improving mental focus. Success depends on a quiet mind and total focus on being in the moment. A mere split-second thought could cause a bad shot. I wanted to do something other than meditation to test my composure; archery does this, especially when you don’t even hit the black target outer circle. It’s easy to be self-deprecating but I use it as an opportunity to train my mind not to react. With practice, my chest and neck

felt strong and upright. The marvellous thing is that archery strengthens the muscles between the shoulder blades; the exact same muscles that tense up when we experience a stress response or spend too long hunched over a laptop, so to me, archery has become the perfect antidote to stress and a training ground for mental self-discipline.

Sian Bentley-Magee Terry Dean

Massage Therapist (ITEC Dip) Hons. 07769 790 690 Based at Weston Turville nr. Wendover/Aylesbury 10

The Archery Centre Buckland Village, Aston Clinton, Bucks HP22 5HZ 01296 630919

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