UEA Archery Club have won their bid to host the annual British University Team Championship (BUTC), which will take place on 21st February 2015. The event will be held in the Haydon Morris Hall at the Sportspark and up to 32 teams – which will entail almost 150 people – from universities across the UK will be competing. “It’ll be a lot of work”, says UEA Archery Club president, Lee Barnes. “Southampton set the bar really high last year and I really hope that UEA can at least meet that – I’m so excited though!” (Reports of a happy dance from Lee are as yet unconfirmed.) The event will be the first major archery competition hosted at UEA and involve a full day’s shooting, food and then a post-event social for the teams in the evening.

The year so far has been a good one for UEA Archery club. In late November, UEA’s first team for the South East University Archery League (Seal) went to Canterbury for the first shoot and left with the novice team coming second, just 13 points off a win. The novice team included a number of students who had just joined UEA and three who had only been shooting since September. The experienced team came third, 60 points behind the leaders. The next leg of Seal is on 6th December against Imperial and Essex and will take place at UEA.
“I’ve loved archery since it was first recommended to me by a friend at UEA, and have become more involved in it than I ever imagined I would”, explained Alex Simpson, one of the newer members who was part of the novice team in November. “I felt a sense of great achievement to reach the novice team in such a short space of time, and can only thank the experienced members of the team for the advice and coaching they gave me that allowed me to reach the required standard”. “I enjoyed the first leg of Seal, although it was a tough learning curve for me and I’m thoroughly looking forward to the second leg this weekend”.

However, archery is not without its difficulties, though, especially for the student budget. “It can be a lot of money if you want to buy your own stuff”, said club secretary Jess Kovacs. The riser – that’s the main part you hold – can be really expensive. Mine was second hand so I got it a bit cheaper for £120. The most expensive bow in the club set Nickil, our health and safety secretary, back by almost £1,500”. “I always think I got really lucky with my bow. In all, my gear was a ‘bargain’: £250! Luckily, if you don’t have your own equipment, or can’t afford it, the club is able to provide enough bows and arrows for everyone to give it a try.

Volunteers will be needed to help out on the day so if anyone is interested in joining in then look up the BUTC 2015 Volunteers or the UEA Archery Club Facebook groups for more information. The club welcomes everyone who is interested in giving archery a try: shoots are on Wednesdays from 13:40 to 17:00 in Hall Three of the Sportspark, and the first session is free.