Archery is an ancient sport deriving in the UK from its importance in warfare. A bow and arrow were the 'weapon of choice’ for over 10,000 years including the times when practicing archery twice a week was a legal requirement for men and boys from the age of seven in England. Of all the sports and pastimes of olde England, archery was the most renowned and many a victory was gained through the skill of the yeomen of England who had become deadly bowmen by practicing ‘at the butts’ in their native town or village.
Both the longbow and the crossbow were used back then but it was the longbow that become the mainstay of the English army. A deadly arrow could be shot 300 yards, and ten arrows could be shot whilst one was dispatched by a crossbow. Longbows were made of yew, and yew trees were purposely planted in and around churchyards so that there would always be a plentiful supply for weapons.
Our country was thus a major force with archery prevailing in the historic battles at Crecy and Agincourt. It is widely dubbed ‘The Noble Art of Archery’ being seen as a means by which a man could help to feed his family by hunting and take part in the defence of the realm.
After the introduction of ballistics, archery morphed into having a more peaceful role and is enjoyed as either pure recreation for all ages or as a competitive sport with Olympic status, throughout most of the World.
Here in Torbay, the Torquay Company of Archers (TCoA) was formed over a century ago.
The Sport of Archery
The sport is regulated in the UK by Archery GB who ensure that all member clubs operate to strict safety rules and under insurance arranged for affiliated clubs. Torquay Company of Archers is an affiliated member of Archery GB and a member of Devon and Cornwall Archery Society (DCAS).
Archery is both a non-competitive recreation, very good for fitness, and a disciplined sport with competition starting within local clubs and also competition events elsewhere in the UK and internationally going all the way to the Olympics.