Three Counties Archers Club has been awarded the insport Club of the Month accolade due to its proactive approach to the insport process.
Three Counties Archers is an inclusive archery club which operates a year-round programme from their club in St Clears, Carmarthenshire. The Club aims to provide inclusive opportunities to non- disabled adult archers along with individuals with both physical and learning disabilities. The club also caters for juniors aged 8-18 of all abilities including groups with Special Educational Needs from schools in the local area.
Lisa Pudner the DSW Development officer for Carmarthenshire said “I am delighted Three Counties Archers are insport Club of the Month. They are a very proactive club and adapt sessions and equipment to accommodate various disabled members and people wishing to become members. An excellent example is the ‘traffic light system’ for deaf and hard of hearing members, which focuses on ensuring safety when archers are instructed to be on line and collect their arrows”.
We spoke to Austin Shackles the club’s secretary who said “going through the insport process was the natural way to go because the club has always been inclusive. insport informs everyone who looks at the club that we are serious about being an inclusive club and ensures that the relevant policies and procedures are in place in order to enhance our inclusive approach. People wishing to join the club of all abilities are welcome and will always have a positive experience”
The insport process has enabled the club to develop a closer partnership with the DSW Development Officer with regards to signposting to appropriate courses, funding avenues and changes in policies from a club’s prospective. From an individual’s prospective it gives them a safe enjoyable environment to improve their archery skills and enables them to enter appropriate competitions if they wish to do so, whether that is disability specific or all-round inclusivity.
When asked what advice they would give other clubs going through insport chairman & head Coach – Dai Davies said “firstly it is important to understand the issues you may encounter with both physical, learning impairments and individuals who have mental health issues. Coaches and volunteers should attend suitable courses such as those run by Disability Sport Wales (example Disability Inclusion Training), in order to aid in improving appropriate techniques and continued personal development. Coaches should be aware of the issues faced by disabled athletes and how to work around physical and learning abilities”.
The club has experienced a change in attitude towards disabled participants since inclusivity has become a priority. They now tell others “do not look at a potential member and think of why they cannot participate, think of ways in which they can - if people want to do something, there generally is a way to achieve it.
Michelle Daltry Partnership manager Said “Disability Sport Wales would like to congratulate Three counties archers on becoming the December insport club of the month. This recognition for the club reflects years of inclusive delivery and an ongoing passion to ensure that anyone can take part in the sport of archery, regardless of ability or disability”
Now Three Counties Archers are working towards achieving insport Bronze. Good luck to the club and congratulations on all their work on inclusive sport provision and their achievements to date.