Fitness the target for archers at Active at Brathay

Kendal Bowmen are running have-a-go archery sessions
Kendal Bowmen are running have-a-go archery sessions
20 May 2017 7:19AM

ORGANISERS of a scheme aimed at getting people active hope a team of archers will help them hit their target by inspiring legions of merry men.

One of six providers putting on have-a-go sessions during Sunday’s Go Active at Brathay events, Kendal Bowmen will be helping newcomers try their hand with a bow and arrow.

It comes as the Brathay Trust aims to inspire spectators at tomorrow's Windermere marathon to take on some outdoor activity themselves.

The bowmen will be running £2 try-out sessions suitable for all ages and abilities, from children as young as two to three years old, to their siblings, parents and grandparents.

Tony Tideswell, club treasurer and founder member, said: “It’s just letting people have a go. You’ll get some people who will have done it before and we can stand a bit further back, other people know nothing and want a lot of instruction. We’ve got every option you can think of.

“We’ve got different weights of bow, so people can try and we can adjust and change to what they need if something is too heavy or too light. We can make the equipment lighter, we can move the targets further forward. We’ll put balloons up and let them pop balloons. Physical ability really doesn't come into it.

“We do get all these questions, you get ‘I’m left handed’, ‘I think I’m too old’, ‘I don’t think I’m physically able’, and the answer to all of those things is, it doesn’t matter, because you can tailor the equipment to suit any person.

“What I would say, quite simply, is ‘Come along and have a go’. You never know.”

Brathay, the national children's and young people's charity, decided to shake up its annual marathon event after hearing about the work of Go Active in Cumbria.

Having spent years opening its Ambleside grounds to the public as part of the day’s festivities, the organisation is now pursuing the chance to push its principles by promoting healthy lifestyle choices and outdoor pursuits.

Other low-cost activities for beginners to try out on the day will include trail running, orienteering, open water swimming, paddle boarding and climbing and high ropes activities.

Wayne Singleton and his Jogging Pals leaders will be hosting the running events, including a 2.62km family trail run and junior mixed-terrain races for five different age groups. Lakeland Orienteering Club has organised two different courses for participants to navigate, one of just under 1km and one of just over 2km.

Swim The Lakes will be running one-hour open water swimming sessions at four set times, while Windermere Canoe, Kayak and stand up paddleboarding (SUP) will host 30-minute tasters throughout the day. The climbing, zip line and high rope activities will be run by Brathay’s own experts, who help children and young people challenge themselves every day.

Youngsters visiting on Sunday will be encouraged to collect stickers from each taster they try, to be in with a chance of collecting a prize at the end of the day.

Brathay head of fundraising, Scott Umpleby, said: “The focus is very much on people who don’t do anything. It may be families, parents who’ve never been active and who maybe fear passing that culture and lifestyle onto their children. It’s that positive step to start doing something.

“We’re really open to the providers promoting their club or business as part of this, to say, ‘Actually, if you’ve enjoyed coming and having a go, next week we’ve got this going on, why don’t you come along and do a bit more?’

More: Go Active at Brathay will let you see if orienteering is the right path for you

More: Take the plunge at Go Active at Brathay's open water swimming sessions

More: Low-cost activities at Go Active at Brathay event

“We’re hoping that while people are here doing the activities they might see our marathon and 10in10 finishing and they might think, ‘Maybe in a year or a few years’ time I can aspire to try and come back and do something like that’. It’s really angling the whole event along those themes of health, wellbeing and positive lifestyle choices.”

Sunday’s Go Active event will coincide with Brathay’s annual Windermere marathon and the end of its 10in10 event, which has seen a team of 16 challengers tackle the course 10 times in as many days.

  • Go Active is a countywide partnership backed by Active Cumbria, GSK and CN Group, helping people across Cumbria become more active. Contact to find out how you can support the Go Active partnership.

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