Phew! That was a tough one. Our two day shoot is over and apart from a few minor details and yet another low turnout all went well other than the lack of resources to do all the work especially the clearing up. On the bright side we have now paid all our debts including our personal accident insurance which had gone up by a third. The club has a small balance.
It has generally been a difficult period for the club with high expectations from what is available for club members to shoot at the club and the ever higher expectations for archer’s safety by the NFAS.
These two features have led the core of workers, “committee” to conclude we have no option but to cancel our September two day shoot. We recognise this will have a significant impact on club finances for the future and disappoint a lot of our NFAS regulars but enough is enough. Keith who does an immense amount of preparatory work and managing the bookings and registration is not available for that month for personal reasons, John and I are just exhausted from almost continuous working for the club, and both Charlie and Carl are equally weary of the ongoing demands on their time.
We would all like to go shooting at other clubs!
There is also an underlying concern that the NFAS, safety documentation and strategy allows no consideration for reasonable care and expect that organising individuals carry the full responsibility for any mistakes that are made in the preparation and running of a NFAS open shoot, this without any defined responsibility to the participating archers to take care.
The safety strategy is excellent and well prepared, but I suspect it has been prepared by someone who does not have a great deal of course design and build experience. The course check sheet is impossible to achieve full compliance without taking some liberties of interpretation in what is meant. The insurance company must just love the NFAS committee who have done such a great job of providing so many loopholes and traps by setting unrealistic expectations on safety for our sport, which by its very nature is a dangerous sport if not from the 150 archers shooting lethal weapons in the wood but also from the inevitable slip and trip hazards that exist by the very nature of woodlands. I am taken aback by the demand for “Parking” marshals in HI Vis Vests to supervise car parking Really? I have never seen one in a supermarket car park, where traffic volumes for cars and people are much higher!
I for one nor any of those who have put there name to this letter will accept the responsibility of signing off a course until there is a change that includes “reasonable care” and “responsibility for their own actions”.
So that’s it until there are notable changes within the club and the NFAS safety policy it is very unlikely that Avalon Archers will again put on a NFAS open shoot.