A Triumph in Arrows: January Portsmouth Challenge

As the chilly wind storms of January swept through South Yorkshire, the archery enthusiasts at Barnsley YMCA Archers gathered for an exhilarating evening of bows, arrows, and friendly competition. The occasion? The January Portsmouth Challenge evening on Friday 26th Jan – an event that not only showcased the prowess of seasoned archers but also welcomed newcomers to the thrill of scoring rounds.

Our archery club, nestled in the heart of Barnsley town centre, boasts a vibrant community of individuals passionate about the art of archery. This particular event saw 17 attendees converging at our indoor shooting range, the YMCA Sports Hall, setting the stage for a night of camaraderie and skilful marksmanship.

Adding a unique touch to the evening, a couple of archers from the South Yorkshire Police Archery club joined us, enhancing the competitive spirit and fostering a sense of unity with this cross-club event.

The challenge at hand was no ordinary feat – a Portsmouth round comprising of 60 arrows. What made this event even more special was the diverse mix of participants. Some aimed to conquer ArcheryGB’s January Virtual Portsmouth competition, while others sought to score a Portsmouth round for personal achievement. For a handful of archers, this marked their inaugural foray into the realm of scored rounds, providing them with an introduction to the world of competitive archery.

To set the tone for the night, our chairman, Allen, delivered the introduction, emphasizing the significance of the challenge and the spirit of sportsmanship. Coach Steve J took the reins next, offering a comprehensive rundown of the round’s intricacies and rules, ensuring that every archer was well-acquainted with the task at hand.

To foster a supportive environment, experienced archers were strategically spread across the targets. This thoughtful arrangement ensured that newcomers had a seasoned mentor nearby, ready to explain the rules and guide them through the scoring process. It was an embodiment of the club’s commitment to inclusivity and nurturing a welcoming atmosphere for archers of all levels.

As the arrows flew and the tension mounted, a few archers distinguished themselves by achieving the elusive three gold 10’s – a testament to their precision and skill (or for Kath in this case, rushing as she was the last archer on the line. Clearly shooting under pressure works for her!). The mix of compound bows, recurves, and barebow archers added a layer of diversity to the competition, showcasing the various disciplines within our archery family.

The January Portsmouth Challenge was not merely a test of accuracy but a celebration of community, resilience, and the shared passion for archery. As the last arrow found its mark, echoing through the hall, the resounding sense of achievement and camaraderie lingered, setting the stage for future triumphs in the world of archery at Barnsley YMCA Archers.

Thank you to all the archers that attended the evening, we hope you enjoyed it and will be up for another one soon!