1 August 2023
Archery is a sport that has been around for centuries, and in recent years, it's seen a resurgence in popularity. You may think it as a dangerous activity, but if practised safely, it can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. The safest option is to practise using arrows with suckers on the end, rather than a sharp point - Archery GB recommends this for primary school children. However, children over the age of 8 can safely learn archery, with adult supervision and instruction.
While shooting arrows may seem dangerous, there are children's versions which are completely safe. If you have young kids, it may be best to start by purchasing a set with arrows that have rubber sucker tips. When your child is ready to use pointed arrows, supervise them at all times and impress on them the importance of never aiming anywhere except the target. Equipment used by archers includes a bracer or arm guard, which is designed to prevent loose clothing getting in the way and stop the string injuring the arm. A finger tab will protect the fingers from injuries while pulling the string.
If you take your child to an organised archery session, there will be expert instructors on hand to teach them how to shoot safely. Staffed archery ranges tend to allow children to take part from the age of about 8. However, in order to practise archery at a public range without supervision, everyone is required to take a beginners' course, which covers essential safety and rules for the sport. Clubs tend to require members to join Archery GB, the governing body for the sport, and this membership includes insurance. There's a reduced membership cost for under 25s, however clubs have their own rules about what age youngsters have to be in order to take a beginners' course and shoot independently.
When practised safely, the risk of injury from archery is quite low. Archery is one of the safest sports for children to participate in. Studies have shown that the injury rate for archery is lower than that for other popular sports such as rugby, football, and basketball. When done properly, there is very little risk of injury. Most injuries that occur are minor and can be easily treated with first-aid.
Unlike other sports, such as football or rugby, archery does not involve physical contact between players and does not require full body mobility. Children with a range of physical disabilities can still participate in the sport and shoot safely. Competition in archery is based on skill, not physical strength.
Archery has many benefits and can be enjoyed safely by children of all ages. With qualified instruction and the right equipment, children can learn how to focus and concentrate while enjoying the satisfaction of hitting their targets. Archery is a great way for kids to get active and have fun while developing important life skills such as patience and discipline.