Gympie archers prepare to take aim

ARCHERY: Gympie archers are counting down the days to May 31 when their practice range will reopen.

Gympie Field Archers Club in Imbil has been closed since March because of COVID-19 but president Mat Quirke said there would be many members ready to get back out there.

“The feedback is that everyone is excited. Not just about shooting but to see their friends and hang out with other people who love what they are doing,” he said.

Gympie Field Archers Club president Mat Quirke.
Gympie Field Archers Club president Mat Quirke.

“We will have to get some people to the range and do some maintenance and get the place ready”.

While the practice range might be open to a restricted number and following social distancing rules, Quirke said there would be procedures to get in place so it can open.

“There are 20 people allowed while maintaining social distancing, so we might need a roster so all our members can have a shoot,” he said.

“We used to have people pulling out others’ arrows and different people scoring but that will have to be stopped and everyone will have to only touch their own gear.

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“The Australian Bowhunters Association are our national governing body and they have been sending out ongoing updates every week or two weeks with what we can implement to get the club running again.

“Our first shoot is going to be very different. No visitors, not coaching with no club hire.”.

As the Gympie club prepares for reopening, an archery business in Tiaro is booming.

The owner of Sioux Archery, Graham Cash, said archery sales took off when the coronavirus restrictions began.

ON TARGET: Owner of Sioux Archery Graham Cash. Photo: Stuart Fast
ON TARGET: Owner of Sioux Archery Graham Cash. Photo: Stuart Fast

It’s not just archers from the Gympie visiting Mr Cash’s store – people are coming from as far as Rockhampton to buy archery supplies.

Business has been so good that Sioux Archery has sold out of its most popular product, the Wolverine Take Down Recurve Bow.

Mr Cash said people have a lot of time on their hands and beginners were coming into the target sport for the first time.

He said experienced archers were also stocking up, returning to the sport now that they had spare time to practise.