MMU draws the best bows

NEUAL Indoor archery meet hosted at MMU Cheshire

It was a big day for MMU Archery on Saturday 12th March 2016. Months of prep work led up to us hosting our regional championships, North England University Archery League (NEUAL), at MMU Cheshire. This competition was a UK Record Status shoot, which was very exciting for our team.

Lining up archers
All our hard work, culminated in a great event

15 teams across North England came to MMU Cheshire Sports Hall to compete in the competition with four judges (archery officials) keeping an eye on all the archers and ensuring the event ran smoothly with the help of MMU and NEUAL. We asked our founder and head judge, Kieran Dexter to be our lord paramount of our competition.

We interviewed our Chair, Alison Douglas, on the day’s events:

How did it feel to be asked to host NEUAL Indoors?
“It felt amazing to be asked. It was such an honour as it was our chance to put MMU on the map and show what we are capable of. It was also a little terrifying because we wanted to do so well and give MMU a huge boost in terms of event planning and hosting.”

What did you do as soon as you found out you were hosting?
“The first thing we did was very excitedly go into the union and tell them that we had been selected to host. We booked the hall with the union for the night before so we could set up and the day of competition so we could run the competition. We then contacted the local bowshop for target faces and contacted other archery clubs for help with bosses, unfortunately we had a problem getting the bosses because as the event was  record status, all the bosses and stands had to be the same. We contacted our league to tell them we were struggling and they secured bosses for us. We then organised our field party so that the event could run as smoothly as possible.”

How did you organise the field party?
“We had members of MMU Archery help out as field party and a few extra volunteers for the additional man power using the MMU sports volunteering. We also held a training day so that everyone knew what was happening on the day and what their jobs were for the day.”

The club managed event logistics
The club managed event logistics

What did you do for set up and how did you feel it went?
“On Friday 11th March we went to the sports hall at 8pm to set up the nets, bosses, stands and to mark the lines. The set up went really well with only one hiccup when one of the hooks in the sports hall broke. We think this was due to a faulty hook which nobody could have planned for, so we went for plan B to set up the net, this gave us an opportunity to think on our feet and solve the problem as a team with NEUAL.”

What did you do on the morning of competition and how did it go?
“On Saturday Morning at 8.30am we went to the sports hall and put the targets on the bosses as the judges had their debrief. We then grouped together for a quick run through of the days events. This went very smoothly and we were ready for a 9am start, bang on time.”

How did the day go as a whole?
The day went like clockwork.  Everyone knew where they had to be and what they were doing; we had radios to keep in contact with each other so the event could go as smoothly as possible. The whole event was greatly organised by both MMU and NEUAL in a combined effort. We were able to really showcase our club and our sport. We also brought back a gold medal in men’s longbow to top it all off. So in all, it was a really successful day.

archers drawing bows
Ready, aim…

How do you think this will progress the club?
“Being a relatively small club, I feel this will open lots of new an exciting opportunities for the coming years, from starting as a club initiated by Kieran Dexter with only three people in 2008. Kieran simply wanted to share his sport with new people and shoot at university. We are now a club that has 18 members and have hosted a UK Record Status shoot – there are so many places this club can go. We have gone from being a club that few know about in our own University to a club that is recognised throughout the UK for their achievements and sportsmanship like behaviour.”

How does it feel to be the chair of the club that has achieved a successful hosting of a competition?
“There are no words to say how amazing and overwhelmingly honoured I feel to be part of this club. I have been at this university for six years, completing my masters this year, and in those six years I have been part of MMU Archery and to watch the club progress as it has, has just been life changing. Being the person who has lead the team and being part of the team that has made NEUAL Indoors 2016 happen, has just made me so immensely proud. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my committee, my club, MMU, the union, NEUAL and our volunteers. Thank you so much for being part of it and helping the archery club to pull off this amazing event.”

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