Archery club on target for move to East Bierley home

Nova Bowmen archery club will be based at East Bierley Playing Fields from January 2019.
Nova Bowmen archery club will be based at East Bierley Playing Fields from January 2019.

Spen Valley based archery club the Nova Bowmen will be moving to East Bierley playing fields from January 2019.

The target archery club has signed an agreement with East Bierley Community Sports Association (EBCSA) to use the sports fields at East Bierley as their base.

Nova Bowmen was formed in 2008 with the ethos being to provide friendly target archery shooting for the local community around Cleckheaton.

As interest has grown over the last 10 years the club decided to find a suitable base that would support the long term plans to grow the club, provide more bosses (targets) and potentially more open club sessions.

They approached East Bierley Community Sports Association (EBCSA), who are a UK registered charity set up to manage the sports facilities at East Bierley Playing Fields, and a favourable partnership has been formed.

EBCSA are a group of volunteers who decided that the playing fields and changing facilities at East Bierley, where hundreds of children and adults play football and rugby league, needed to be improved.

In 2012, Birkenshaw ARLFC and Hunsworth FC formed a new community charity, which raised the much needed funds to redevelop the changing rooms and improve the site just off Hunsworth Lane.

Simon Armitage, secretary of EBCSA, said: “Our vision was to build new changing rooms, create a safer sporting arena, and develop the grounds to make easier and safer access.

“We also wanted to go beyond that and keep our community active, getting more local people involved in sport.

“When Nova Bowmen approached us we saw it as a great opportunity to provide an additional sport, an alternative to rugby and football and support Nova in their growth plans.”

The archery club will use the existing football field, which is surrounded by barriers, and will have a field captain in charge during sessions to maintain safety, making sure other visitors are aware that a shooting session is taking place.

During the summer season sessions will be held on Monday and Wednesday evenings and most Saturday mornings.

Weekend sessions may be also be scheduled all year round, weather permitting and with agreement from EBCSA.

Nova Bowmen chairman, Simon Slater, added: “EBCSA have been really helpful in getting us established there. We assessed the facilities for suitability in line with Archery GB’s range policy; following this we put together a plan, worked with EBCSA and have moved all our equipment there.

“As a club we are looking forward to starting outdoor shooting again in the New Year. Nova Bowmen has an open membership and caters for archers of all abilities, so with our new base we expect our membership to grow again in 2019.”

Armitage also commented: “We’ve got lots of ideas in the pipeline to be able to give the wider community the ability to get active, not just in football, rugby and now archery and people can visit us at the playing fields most weekends.”