Dear archers, with this article I’m starting a series of writings under the common title “Meet The Club”. And since it is about our friends and colleagues, it will be sweet to a fault, for all these clubs are like our or our friend’s children.
There’s an old saying: our actions are the best evidence of ourselves. I remember: less than two years ago on a Facebook profile of a fellow archer Dave Leigh emerged a certain picture showing an empty field and a skeleton of what I believe used to be dog kennels. The author of the photograph shared his ambitious plan to build a roofed archery range using the featured structures. Back then, even to me, it seemed like the idea of a madman who fantasized about capturing the sun with a hoe.
Two years have passed and Dave hasn’t changed a bit since then, it’s as if the inevitable time has forgotten the guy and focused on everyone else but him. However, as far as the place is concerned – it seems that the time took a huge leap just at the spot where once stood a crumbling canine. Today the site looks very different. The ruins have been replaced by a genuine shooting range where one can often hear children’s laughter and the bustle of the Galtee Archery club members.
The range is bright and airy, with 25 yards under the roof plus 60 outdoors for sunny days. On the opposite side to the entrance, there is a small workshop and behind it a place where the weary shooters can rest and have a tee in safe conditions. The walls are lined with training bows (recurve and compound) for both children and adults. My curious stare was drawn to Dave’s awards and trophies and a special place for upcoming awards and trophies of club members.
Galtee Archery came to be in February 2020, throughout the first lockdown they took the time to set up a classroom, bow maintenance room & small shop to cater for members needs & requirements. Membership has grown to 33 adults since the birth of the club, plus 17 children ages 7 to 15. In addition to its usual activities, Galtee also has a dedicated curriculum for children and youth with special needs. The program runs once a week for 8 weeks, comprising 2 to 4 groups each week for the 8-week rotation. Group numbers are usually between 6 & 10 people.
The club has a busy schedule, with training taking place both morning and evening. Members shoot Tuesday to Thursday from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Wednesdays are children’s classes from 6 to 8:30 p.m. There is an open day on Fridays from 6 p.m. till 10:30 p.m. Saturday’s and Sundays by appointment.
Dave also runs his rehab groups and transition students and one on one with councillors and kids from disadvantaged backgrounds – Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For some time now, thanks to the hard work of the archers and Dave’s coaching, the sporting statistics of Galtee Archery have been on the rise. Recently 13-year-old Sean Morrissey won the Archery Ireland 3D national championship in his category. Despite the difficulties and challenges posed by the pandemic, the Galtee Archers continue to grow, seeking to expand their membership and popularize the sport.
Every club was once small, we all started from the admonished doghouse. Each of us once had dreams, but not everyone had enough strength and determination to not only chase them but make them come true. Men from the Galtee Archery have this quality deeply rooted within their hearts and that is why they look toward the future with hope and confidence while inviting anyone willing to visit them in their club.
Alternatively, you can contact them on 087 798 580 or send an email to Dave: firstname.lastname@example.org
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