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Date published: 5th December 2017

More than 50 archers representing 19 archery clubs have taken part in an annual contest, hosted by archery club, the Fakenham Bowmen at Fakenham Sports and Fitness Centre.

The WA18 competition, where archers shoot 18 meters at a 40cm face, falls within the Fakenham Bowmen’s winter season which sees them shooting twice a week at the North Norfolk District Council owned Centre.

Fakenham Bowmen is a well-established club with an illustrious history. It was founded in 1872 as the Fakenham and Dereham Archery Club and continues to this day with a mix of members ranging from 10 years old to members in their 80s.

More recently, club members have enjoyed success at national level with two junior members being selected as members of Archery GB; both have and have represented Great Britain at several national and international events. A para archer from the club represented Team GB in the Sydney 2000 Paralympics, winning a team bronze and a former member now shoots for Scotland.

John Walker MBE, who won two gold medals at the Paralympic Games in Rio in 2016, attended the event, winning the Gents Compound competition. John credits Fakenham Bowmen for igniting his love of archery after he visited a shoot in 2011 at Fakenham Sports and Fitness Centre. Just a few years later and after a lot of hard work, he has represented Great Britain and was awarded an MBE in 2017 for services to archery.

The categories at competitions are split into bow style, gender and age, there are four types of bow styles shot at most archery competitions, Recurve Freestyle (the type seen shot at the Olympics), Compound, Longbow and Recurve Barebow.

Cllr Maggie Prior, North Norfolk District Council Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing, Leisure and Culture, said: “"I was absolutely delighted to hear of the wonderful activities described to me by my colleague after her visit to Fakenham Sports Centre. The Bowmen certainly brought something different to the area and provided quite a visual spectacle. 

“I am extremely proud of our sports offering right across North Norfolk and of all those who are enabled to become involved. My thanks go to all involved in organising this particular event."

Cllr Roy Reynolds, Ward Member for Lancaster North attended the competition, acting as Lord Paramount to present trophies and medals to the archers. He said: “The Fakenham Bowmen is a fantastic club that caters for all ages and abilities. Since Great Britain’s archers topped the medal table at last year’s Paralympic Games in Rio, the sport is definitely seeing a rise in popularity which is great news for the club as it continues to grow its membership.”

Last updated: 5th December 2017