The long summer nights are rapidly drawing to a close and the temperatures are starting to drop from the heady highs of 17 degrees to the more normal Scottish “heat”. I have seen more faces outdoors this season than last (although it would always be better to see more of our indoor only members to join us in the great outdoors). For those that have been out enjoying the shooting outdoors this Season I hope you have enjoyed yourselves, for those that have been unable to please come along quickly as we only have about three weeks left before we settle down for 8 months of indoor shooting.


A few things come to mind for this season’s newsletter:

A Season of Success


For those that don’t know him Murray Elliot aka Unqualified Meddler aka MC Elliot has been working damn hard this Season achieving 1st place in the British Paralympic Qualifying rounds and helping the British team to a fourth place at the World Championships in Turin, outstanding shooting on his part.

Gilbert has also been shooting very well achieving Bowman status early on in the year and chasing hard at the heels of Murray on many of his scores. I can see there being a healthy rivalry this indoor season in the Monthly challenges between these two.

Please join me in congratulating both of these archers on their success this Season.

EA Champions incorporating Club Championships

Once more Balbardie is hosting the Eastern Area Championships on the 10th/11th September. This year it was decided to incorporate the club championships within that competition so if you want to take part in the club champs you must enter on one of the days of the Eastern Area competition. We want as many as possible to enter and you will never get a more familiar ground to shoot on if it is your first competition so go on… get that entry in to Josie.

As ever the two day competition is only possible because of the hard work that the volunteers put in to make it happen, in particular that of Josie and her family who spend a week in preparation for the event. The competition helps subsidise everyone’s archery in the Indoor Season (the eight months of rent across three venues is not cheap) and therefore we need to maximise upon it every year. If you don’t want to shoot PLEASE PLEAS PLEASE volunteer to be part of the field party on one or both of the days. Doing anything to help such as taking registrations, selling raffle tickets, moving bosses, helping to lay out the field is much appreciated and helps take away some of the stress from poor Josie who is run frantic at the event.

Archery in the Community

This year we successfully hosted a well attended come n try event at the Round Table gala in Linlithgow which despite the rain was well attended as it is every year. In addition as a new venture we took part in the West Lothian Sports for all initiative providing six sessions at Balbardie Sports Centre where children could try out the Sport.

A big thanks to Bill, Iain, Mark, Gilbert (and family), Josie, David, Dennis, Hazel, Murray and Aileen for helping with these ventures. Apologies to anyone that I have missed.

Taking part in these events does not go unnoticed, we build good rapport with the Council which is essential and introduce new members of the Community to archery which is a stated aim of the club. I am delighted to confirm that Archery GB has recognised our club’s enthusiasm and success in this area and has highlighted our club as an outstanding provider of Community Archery within the Ontarget programme. We should be justifiably chuffed at this recognition.

Outdoor Season Handicaps and Classifications

Can all archers who wish their Handicap and Classification to be noted on the club website please hand in their best three scores to the Records Officer (Donald McIntosh) by the end of September.

Onto the Indoor stuff then…

Dates and Shooting Times
These are the same as last year:
Monday Armadale Academy 8pm til 10pm
Wednesday St. Kents Blackburn 7pm til 9pm
Friday Linlithgow Academy 7:45pm til 9:45pm

First shooting day of the indoor season is: Friday 2nd of September at Linlithgow
Last shooting day of the indoor season is: Monday 30th April at Armadale Academy

Beginners Courses

The club needs and wants new members, depending on demand we will be running two or three beginners courses this indoor season.

The first course will be run from 12 Sep to 3 October at Armadale. Members are advised that a portion of the hall will be given over to the beginners on these dates and your usual patience and friendliness is requested. We have a number of names already however there are still spaces available so if you know of anyone who is keen to try out the sport please let somebody on the Committee know ASAP.

Regular Coaching

As a new initiative this year we will be trialling a regular set coaching night so that all club members have the opportunity to be coached over the 8 month indoor season. On the first week of every month every Monday will be marked up as a Junior coaching night and every Wednesday as an adult coaching night. This will mean that on these nights ANY member should be asking for coaching help as they wish it from one of the club coaches. We will deliberately not be bringing our bows on those nights so don’t be shy – you will enjoy your archery much more if you are coached to shoot better. For those that aren’t aware (I’m conscious we will have new members reading this over the Indoor Season) our Coaching staff are as follows:

Bill McKay – Senior Coach (compound and recurve)

Dave Herd – compound

Mark Cook, Gilbert Jamieson, Iain Hogg, Kevin Young – recurve.

You can of course ask one of these coaches for help outside the set coaching nights however please bear in mind that if they have a bow in their hand (even Bill uses his sometimes) they may well be wanting to shoot a round themselves so do the right thing and ask first if they have the time to help you on that night.

Coaching Workshops

I am delighted to announce that Josie and Bill have organised five coaching workshop days at the Grange club again this season. These really are fantastic value for all levels of archer – nowhere else would you get the chance to shoot all day for the cost of £7 let alone be given access to a coaching team from around the Country and the opportunity to build and maintain equipment. As a new and welcome initiative this year one of the sessions will be made available to Compounds only to ensure that they are given that extra attention that is needed with higher tech bows. The Sessions are as follows and I’d recommend booking with Josie quickly as they will fill up from archers across the country quickly after a period of time.

The dates for the workshops are - 29 October, 26 November 2011 and 21 January and 25 February 2012. Cost for these will be £7 for club members (£10 for other clubs). Arrival 9am - departure 5pm.

The compound workshop will be on 3 March - 9am to 5pm. This will be for bow set up/maintenance and technique. This has still to be costed as it is likely we will invite a coach from England. 

Outdoor preparation and tuning. This will be held at Bathgate Sports Centre on 15 April 10am to 3pm. Cost should be about £3 per head.

Club Competitions

We always want as many people as possible to take part in the club competitions and therefore on the last week of each month at each venue people will be able to enter into the monthly medals with rounds to be shot as follows:

September Portsmouth
October FITA 18m
November Vegas
December No monthly medal as Festive Shoot
January Worcester
February Club Championships
March FITA 25m (Armadale only owing to space restrictions)

Further details on the Club Championships will be posted in due course.

A handicap improvement award will be issued for best improvement over the Indoor Season.

Club Team

I am pleased to say that the club team has grown and we regularly have five plus attendees at shoots on the Scottish circuit. However we always want more people to take part, please grab any of the usual suspects if you fancy a go – they really are not that scary (the competitions I mean, yes the usual suspects look pretty scary sometimes…) and they’re a great way to make new friends. From a position of knowing nobody outside our club two years ago I can now catch up with people I know at any event I go to so go on dip a toe in that water and you’ll be hooked.

We now have enough people who are competitive that we could enter into the SAA postal league over the winter – if there is anybody who is willing to volunteer to co-ordinate the scores and email them to the postal league organizer please let me know.

Club Equipment

With the return to the Indoor Season, the bows which are currently out on hire to last years diet of beginners will now be required for the new set. We do not want to lose members because of the lack of a bow and therefore offer members the opportunity to purchase the equipment they are currently using at a reduced price in order that they may continue to shoot – if this is of interest then please speak to a member of the Committee who can advise further. Alternatively if you wish to return the club kit and purchase your own kit which would be of a higher quality we are more than happy to recommend suitable options which will not break the bank.

In either case can all members who are currently using club kit please arrange to either return or purchase their club kit within the next month.


I am delighted to announce that in addition to being our Records Officer, and providing Web support Donald McIntosh has agreed to take on the role of Equipment Officer. Thanks very much to Donald for this.

I know I have to bang on about this every time but the club is run off the time of a small group of committed individuals. We’d all rather spend more time shooting and less time running the club so any help anyone is willing to give in any way will be warmly welcomed.

Eastern Area Squad

The Eastern Area squad has been re-launched this year as a stepping block between club level archer and those on National Squad. I am delighted to announce that at this stage Gilbert Jamieson has achieved the qualifying scores for entry and would hope by the end of the season to confirm he will be joined by one or two fellow Balbardie archers.


The club AGM will be held at Bathgate Community Centre in February or March 2012, with a date to be confirmed in due course. Please do come along to this, the club can’t run without an AGM and the AGM isn’t quorate without people turning up.

Club Annual Prize Giving

This has been set provisionally for Saturday the 31st March 2011 to be held at the same venue as last year (the Toby Carvery in Bathgate). Further details will be issued in due course but feel free to nominate people for BAFTA awards over the Indoor Season.

That’s it
I look forward to seeing many of you whom I have not seen over the Outdoor Season and I wish you all the best for the Indoor Season.

Good Shooting!

El Presidente

10 August 2011