Louth and District Archery Club wins national award

Club chairman Rick Smith (left) and senior coach Derek Burman with the award EMN-170525-124426002
Club chairman Rick Smith (left) and senior coach Derek Burman with the award EMN-170525-124426002

Members of a town sports club were stunned to discover they had been honoured with a top national award for their work in the community.

The Louth And District Archery Club were named as winners of Archery GB’s On Target Community Club of the Year for 2016.

Club chairman Rick Smith was taken aback when Arran Coggan, Archery GB’s Development Manager (Participation), paid a surprise visit to present the award during one of their regular club meetings.

The Louth club was chosen unanimously to receive the accolade by the awards panel, citing Rick and senior coach Derek Burman for their tireless work and efforts at the club, and describing them as the embodiment of a community club.

Club secretary Jackie Shaw said: “I think it’s a fantastic achievement and well deserved.

“Rick and Derek go above and beyond what could be considered normal to ensure that all ages and all abilities can participate in a great sport.”

The award came courtesdy of blind archer Stuart Rodgers who submitted the nomination.

Since taking up the sport there Stuart has gone on to compete all over the country and in Europe, winning silver at the VIAT 2017 tournament in France earlier this year.

“I am totally blind and I never thought anyone would be mad enough to trust me with a bow and arrows,” he said. “But Rick and Derek convinced me I could do it.

“They are so dedicated to archery, and apart from the club, they also teach archery at a school in Louth, and take part in the Louth disabled sports taster days.

“During the school holidays they do extra training days for the children, and hold club try-out days for anyone to have a go.

“Both have so much patience with others and they help people with other disabilities, too, and do all of it voluntarily.”

The club welcomes new members to join them at their weekly shoots on Tuesdays (6pm to 8pm) and Saturdays (noon to 4pm) at Louth Town Football Club, Marshlands, Saltfleetby.

They are also holding an open event on Saturday, June 17 from 10am to 4pm as part of Archery GB’s The Big Weekend.

For more details about the club, email Laddac@mail.com or visit their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.