Hit films inspire Sherwood Forest archers

Blockbuster films like The Hunger Games and Avengers Assemble will help to promote a new generation of archers – says The Forest Archer at Sherwood Forest.

Both films feature archery as key activities in their storylines with Jennifer Lawrence taking up the bow and arrow in The Hunger Games, and Jeremy Renner using a compound bow and a mechanised quiver of augmented arrows as his weapon of choice in the Avengers Assemble.

Avengers Assemble broke all opening weekend Box Office records in the UK and in America – and America’s Archery Trade Association reported a 20 per cent increase in equipment over the last year. Shooting ranges in the States and the UK are also becoming popular with young people keen to take up the sport.

Nottinghamshire, in particular Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest, managed by Nottinghamshire County Council, is well placed to help meet increased interest in the sport here in the UK. Every weekend there is Have a Go Archery led by The Forest Archer, which takes place (weather permitting) at Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve, where people get to try out the sport amid the magnificent setting of the forest, made famous by Robin Hood.

The Forest Archer, aka Colin Brooks, who also features prominently with an archery display at the annual Robin Hood Festival, said: “Films are a great way to bring archery into the public eye. The last Robin Hood film was fantastic for raising the profile of the sport and I am sure these films will increase interest.

“It’s always a pleasure teaching people who want to try the longbow in Sherwood Forest - everyone loves that very special part of English history, people from all over the world visit the site to try the sport.

“Once people take part in a taster there is a steady increase in the number of people who take more interest in archery. It’s a sport that everyone can do when shown correctly how to shoot. I’ve noticed that the whole family enjoy trying their hand at it from as young as five to great grand dads!

“Another reason it’s so popular is it’s a very relaxing calm sport, it’s a great feeling seeing a first time pupil shoot well after some basic instruction, you see their face just light up especially on the longbow! Everyone gets a great sense of achievement from it.”

‘The Forest Archer’ Presents - Have a go Longbow takes place near the Major Oak. There is a small charge to take part. Visit: www.nottscc.gov.uk/whatsonfor more details.

Meanwhile, Belvoir Archers in Nottinghamshire, is currently training 20 beginners new to the sport on the Works Lane Sports Field opposite Barnstone Country Club. The club, based in Barnstone, was awarded £750 from Nottinghamshire County Council’s Community Sports Fund last year to invest in coach training and new equipment to be able to train beginners.

Treasurer Sue Haynes said: “It is good to hear that archery is becoming more popular since the release of these films.

“As a newly formed club, we are delighted to be currently offering beginner training to 20 newcomers – people are pleased that there is a local club where they can try out the sport.” The club’s website is: www.belvoirarchers.co.uk