MORE than 100 people went along to check out a brand new £200,000 state-of-the-art archery range at Wythall Park.
The venue – the home of the Redhill Archers and only one of three of its kind in the region – was officially opened on Saturday (January 31) by MP Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
He unveiled a plaque on the day and there was a variety of other activities, including the chance to have a go at archery with club members and qualified archers. Visitors could also meet paralympians Mel Clarke and Richard Hennahane.
Mel, the world’s number one archery paralympian, showed her medals from London 2012 and Beijing 2008 and explained the training regime which helped her achieve them.
Richard, a fellow 2012 competitor and world championships medal winner, shot the first arrow after the official opening.
Sport England provided a £50,000 ‘Inspired Facility’ grant to Wythall Community Association as part of the 2012 Olympics legacy programme. Other funding was received from Severn Waste Environmental’s ‘Welcome to Our Future’ fund, local businesses, organisations and individuals.
The building was also made possible by the club’s members investing over 2,000 hours of their own labour.
David Harrison said: “It is only with facilities like this, available for coaching and individual development, that British sport and archery can compete on the world stage.
“Furthermore, in addition to developing the current elite, this type of facility is key to being able to attract and nurture juniors and grass roots archers who we will rely on to be the Olympians and world-class athletes of the future.”
David Harris, Redhill Archers club chairman said, “This facility has been designed to provide all-weather, year-round, training facilities for local and regional archers of all levels from beginner to international.”
Mr Javid said it was fantastic to have the range in Wythall, adding Redhill Archers were now an integral part of the local community having shot at Wythall Park for more than 40 years.
“It is a great testament to the spirit of the club that its members have put in over 2,000 hours of voluntary work in order to finish the project with painting and plumbing.
“I hope this new facility will go on to inspire future generations of archers.” he added.
Visit www.redhill-archers.org.uk for more on the club or on taking up archery or shooting at the club.
Providing another string to the bow! – Paralympian Richard Hennahane during the opening flight of arrows. Pictures by Alex Bradbury. 0615009ABR2
A targeted opening – David Harris, chairman of Redhill Archers, watches on as MP Sajid Javid unveils the plaque. 0615009ABR1