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Getting Started as a VI Archer

The First Steps

If you are interested in taking up archery then you have made the first step by reaching this page!

Finding a Club and Beginners' Course

All archers, whether they can see or not, have to attend a beginners' course to learn about shooting and safety. So, the next step is to find an archery club and beginners' course. Follow this link to the Archery GB Club Finder (opens in new window). Enter your postcode and how far you can travel to a club. The search results will list details of archery clubs within your selected area.

Once you have chosen the club you would like to join, contact them and tell them you are visually impaired, would like to attend a beginners' course, and take up archery. The club will provide all the equipment you need to start shooting, and you won't need any specialist or tactile equipment initially.

Finding a ‘Spotter’

A ‘spotter’ is a sighted person who accompanies you every time you shoot. The club may require a spotter to accompany you on your beginner's course, and the benefit of finding a spotter at this early stage is that they will learn with you. You will definitely need a spotter once you join a club. This could be a friend or relative, or a member of the club but it is not the club's responsibility to find a spotter for you.

The primary role of your spotter is to keep you and everyone else on the range safe. A secondary role is to tell you where your arrows have landed.

The relationship between the archer and their spotter is important. The spotter will learn about the archer's shooting style and equipment, and the most successful visually impaired archers are those who have their own regular spotter.

What's Next?

Once you have completed your course, we would advise all archers, whether visually impaired or sighted, against purchasing any archery equipment, this includes specilist equipment, immediately. Clubs usually have bows they can loan or rent for a small fee. This is important because you may decide after a few weeks that archery isn't for you after all.

The next step, having completed the course, is to take a look at memberships you need or should consider.