Try some­thing new: archery

Ar­rows at the ready! We meet Julie Matthews who has dis­cov­ered won­der­ful friends and great help for her dis­abil­ity through archery

YOURS (UK) - - News - By Katharine Woot­ton

It’s a mo­ment of pure con­cen­tra­tion as Julie Matthews pulls back the string of her bow, lin­ing it up with her cheek­bone. There’s a pause as she weighs up the bulls­eye on the board in front of her. Then, ping! Off the ar­row goes and as it hits the tar­get there is a flurry of laughs, jokes and a great sense of fun from the group of friends Julie has come to love at the Howarth Archers Club in Not­ting­hamshire. Julie and her hus­band Stephen first got into archery a year ago af­ter meet­ing the team from the club at a lo­cal com­mu­nity gala. “I’d al­ways been in­ter­ested in archery but as I have rheuma­toid arthri­tis all the way through my bones I didn’t think my shoul­ders and el­bow would be able to cope with it and I have os­teoarthri­tis in my spine and hips. But they let me have a go at this lo­cal gala and I loved it.” Julie and Stephen de­cided to sign up for a 12-hour begin­ner’s course. She says: “Be­fore the first ses­sion I was pet­ri­fied as I’d never done any­thing like this be­fore and didn’t know one end of the bow from the other. But the in­struc­tors were bril­liant and helped me work out how to adapt the sport around my dis­abil­ity.” Soon Julie and Stephen were hooked and they be­gan work­ing their way through the dif­fer­ent badge qual­i­fi­ca­tions that will hope­fully one day see them gain mas­ter bow­man cer­tifi­cates – the high­est achieve­ment in archery. “With archery, you’re never com­pet­ing against other peo­ple, you’re just try­ing to im­prove your own score and get bet­ter,” Julie says. But while it’s an in­di­vid­ual sport, she has found it to be a won­der­ful so­cial ac­tiv­ity. “We’ve made some great new friends through the club. And as we shoot in­doors on a smaller

‘The in­struc­tors were bril­liant and helped me work out how to adapt the sport around my dis­abil­ity’

range once the weather turns colder, we see them all year round.” It has be­come a great ac­tiv­ity for Julie and Stephen to do to­gether. “It’s a re­ally nice thing for us to do as a cou­ple as we can see each other’s progress and sup­port each other.” Now that Julie has got to grips with the ba­sics, she says she has re­alised there are three main re­quire­ments to be a good archer with the Ha­worth Archers Club. “You need to have good con­cen­tra­tion, a great sense of hu­mour – and you need to like cake as peo­ple are al­ways bring­ing in cheese­cakes and sweet things to share with the club,” she laughs. As well as fun and laugh­ter, Julie says tak­ing up archery has helped her phys­i­cally, too. “I went to see my con­sul­tant re­cently and he says I now have full ro­ta­tion in my shoul­der which I didn’t have be­fore and that is all down to the archery. It’s not cur­ing my con­di­tion, but it is eas­ing my symp­toms, which is great news. “I’m so glad I gave archery a go. It’s re­lax­ing and ever such good fun at the same time.”

Julie finds archery fun and ther­a­peu­tic

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.