FAMILY SPORT: Emerald Archery Club members enjoying some target practice earlier in the week.
FAMILY SPORT: Emerald Archery Club members enjoying some target practice earlier in the week. Taylor Battersby

Sport hits all the targets

Archery: When thinking of family-friendly sports, it is likely archery would not spring immediately to mind.

That is something Mick Grallelis, president of the Emerald Archery Club, wants to change.

"We are a highly inclusive, participatory sport,” he said.

"It's one of the few sports, if not the only, where the whole family can participate at the same time.

"You can all walk around as a family at the same time on the same range.”

Originally started in 2013, the Emerald Archery Club has gone from strength to strength, and secured a lease on the Mosquito Creek Reserve near Fairbairn Dam in early 2014.

Mr Grallelis said the club has since held several regional tournaments on its course, including the 2017 regional championship.

"We enjoyed quite a bit of success, particularly our juniors, on the regional competitions for that first year, just because we did what we could to change programs and vary our ranges around to help our juniors develop the skills required for the sport a little earlier,” he said.

"We try and maintain ourselves as a family friendly club and to date, we've always maintained about a two-thirds junior or family membership.

"So it's not just a bunch of blokes standing around talking rubbish.”

Mr Grallelis said the club was equipped to cater for people of all skill levels.

"A number of our club members and their children have a learning disability,” he said.

"We started incorporating what we call a 'legend's peg', which was a small painted rock at closer distances.

"Some of the (learning disabled) children can't quite get the concept of judging a distance and changing the angle to what they should have, so at least they can consistently shoot.

"It means that even they can come and participate with us at the same time.”

Mr Grallelis said archery was also a good sport for children who have a hard time fitting in with team sports.

"It's a very relaxed atmosphere,” he said.

"There's no pressure to help out part of the team.

"You go at your own pace and get what you want out of it.”

He said anyone who wanted to find out more about the club or archery could drop by the clubhouse and have a look.

"(People are) more than welcome to come down, say hello, and get some information about what we do,” Mr Grallelis said.

"All they need to do is make sure they have enclosed shoes because we're in a bushland setting and they'll be moving around on uneven ground.”

To find out more or to get involved, contact the Emerald Archery Club through its Facebook page.

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