The history of the Blue Arrows Archery Club
The Blue Arrows Archery Club is a friendly club based in Ipswich to promote the sport of target archery. The club consists of a junior section for the under 18's and a senior section for those of us who still wish that we were only 18! Part of the ethos of the club is that the junior and senior members shoot side-by-side, giving the club a fun, friendly, family atmosphere.
The club was established in 2002 to fill the gap for a club that was open to beginners and experienced archers alike and where juniors and seniors could shoot together. After struggling to find a suitable venue we eventually got permission from the kind boys in blue at Suffolk Constabulary to use their playing field, and the club was born. The clubs original badge depicts this association and was designed for us by one of our junior members. Indoor shooting was hosted at Northgate Sports Centre.
In 2008 the club moved to Trinity Park. This provided us with more space to safely shoot at any distance we chose. Club night outdoors was Thursday from 6-7:30pm or until it got dark. During the winter months some brave souls still shot outside at the weekends, whereas the more sensible members preferred to shot indoors at Maidenhall Sports Centre. Club night indoors is normally Thursday from 6-8:00pm.
2008 also saw the introduction of the new club badge. Since we no longer had an association with the Police the members felt a new badge was in order. A competition was held within the membership to design the badge and this is the result:
The Orwell bridge features prominently as this was felt to be symbolic of Ipswich and Suffolk and provided the club with a more appropriate identity; the obligatory arrows also feature along with some water running under the bridge.
As of 25th April 2013, Blue Arrows outdoor shooting will be hosted at Maidenhall Sports Centre. Club night is the usual Thursday starting at 6:00pm and going on til 8:00pm and another session on a Sunday morning starting at 8:00am and finishing at 12:00 midday. Of course, the sports center facilities will be available during these times.
Blue Arrows Archery Club are affiliated to the Grand National Archery Society (GNAS - pronounced GEE NASS) which now trades under the name Archery GB and is the official governing body for the Olympic sport of target archery in the UK. We are also affiliated to the local regional and county associations of Archery GB, the Southern Counties Archery Society and the Essex County Archery Association (Suffolk does not have enough clubs as yet to warrant it's own County Association). Being affiliated to these associations means that club members can take part at open shoots and tournaments across the country if they desire, although in our club nobody is forced to do anything that they don't want to!