Bowmen of Backworth


We run a monthly FREE Have-a-Go session on the first Saturday of the month from April to September, 10 AM to 1 PM.
Why not come along and try?

The Bowmen of Backworth

The Bowmen of Backworth is a very long-established friendly, totally non-discriminatory, recreational archery club. As a section of Backworth Miners’ Welfare, we enjoy all the facilities offered by Backworth Hall. We cater for all Target archers whether shooting Longbow, Barebow, Flat bow, Horse bow, Recurve (the Olympic bow) or Compound at our full 100-yard facility. Archers can be competitive or not, it’s entirely up to them.
We even have a tractor and trailer for putting out and taking in the targets.

We support and encourage all Archers whatever their ability, be they ardent competitive or recreational shooters. Membership is open to all.
As sole users of our field, we can shoot 24/7, subject to the latest Archery GB Rules of Shooting but have designated Target Days on Wednesdays and Sundays with Saturdays reserved for Coaching. We also have other facilities for indoor winter shooting and a regular Tuesday evening indoor venue in North Shields for Coaching, practice, training, and equipment set-up and testing.


We are affiliated to Archery GB (G.N.A.S.), Durham and Northumberland Archery Association (DNAA) and Northern Counties Archery Society (NCAS). We welcome all Archers who are affiliated with any recognised National Archery Association and we also offer our coaching facilities to them.

Throughout the year we run a number of our Nationally Recognised Beginners’ courses in which a new archer is taken through the basics of SAFE archery and taken from the delight of hitting the target with all three arrows to moaning that they are not all in the gold.

We also run several FREE Have-a-Go sessions in the spring and summer months where you can come and try, with all equipment provided, to see if the Archery bug bites.

Crossbows fall outside of our remit and are not permitted at any of our venues.

We offer a ONE DAY basic course that will give you the basics to join our club and continue progression from there.

Frequently Asked Questions


Archery clearly has a potential danger; after all a bow is a weapon but Archery is a very safe sport when performed correctly and we are governed by Archery GB’s Rules of Shooting. Archery is actually one of the safest sports practised in the UK today. We have level 2 and level 1 Archery GB qualified coaches with plenty of years of coaching experience with adults, children and impaired archers. We can provide expert coaching to people who have never shot archery before and are coming to any of our recreation sessions, Have-a-Go’s or parties. We also provide experienced archers with expert coaching to improve their own techniques and performance. All of our ranges are approved for safe archery.

Yes, Archery GB insures Beginners for up to six visits to our venues; thereafter you are required to join an Archery club to continue. It need not be our Club but we hope it is. Your coaches will explain more if necessary.
Visiting Archers will be required to show a valid membership card from their National Archery Association.

We have the “Backworth Boutique” our small refreshment facility which sells, economically, Chocolate bars, Crisps and Drinks. We also have basic facilities for making tea and Coffee. Also Backworth Miners’ Welfare has a bar and catering facilities.

All our coaches are fully qualified and certificated Archery GB coaches (not Archery leaders or instructors) with enhanced CRB clearance and child protection course certification. As well as coaching archery our coaches shoot regularly recreationally as well as competitively.

No, our ranges are not suitable for the shooting of Crossbows. Crossbows fall outside of the remit of Archery GB and ourselves.

Outdoors, at Backworth Miners’ Welfare, we shoot distances ranging from 10yards to 100yards. Imperial rounds can be as short from 48 arrows at 30yds and 20yds (24 arrows at each distance) to as long as 144 arrows at 100yds, 80yds and 60yds (72, 48 and 24 arrows at respective distances). World Archery (FITA) and Archery GB metric rounds are from 30m to 90m.

During the indoor season, we normally shoot 20 yards at much smaller target faces but there are a number of other rounds that we can shoot.

You can find out all the latest information on our shooting schedule on our join us page.

No, bow hunting and fishing is illegal in the UK.

Attaching a broadhead to your arrow is also not allowed as they destroy the bosses.


Yes, but until you have taken and passed a recognised Beginners’ course you will be unable to use it on any Archery GB approved range. We strongly advise that any Beginner/Novice does not purchase any equipment until passing the Beginners’ course and seeking advice from our Club coaches. Your coaches and the experienced archers in the club will advise you on this matter. The Club has a number of bows which can be hired at a very nominal charge until such times that they feel confident to go forward. Our coaches will measure you and advise the type, size power of the equipment that is best for you. The club normally has a number of “pre-loved” bows available for sale which can be tailored to your requirements.

Most people are either right eye or left eye dominant, but some people are neither. Eye dominance occurs when the brain prefers the sight of one eye over the other and is not related to being right or left handed. Your coaches will assist you in determining which is your dominant eye.

Our club, as are most, is predominantly Recurve-based with others shooting compound, longbow, barebow and horsebow.

We currently do not allow crossbows due to safety concerns.

We cannot tell you which type of bow to buy, this must be your decision. Your coaches and the experienced archers in the club will gladly give you advice and information on the types of bow they shoot. We also recommend that you speak to as many archers as possible about their bows before you make up your mind. Some Archers may even let you try them – but don’t be offended if not, bows are very personal things.

A ‘Robin Hood’ is a much coveted but expensive accolade for an archer. This is where one arrow embeds itself in the back of another arrow already in the target. This is normally expensive because not only is the first arrow destroyed, but the second arrow is also damaged beyond use. It becomes a very expensive trophy. In a competition, both arrows would be scored the same.

The current club membership fee is available on request
Members pay Archery GB, NCAS and D&NAA membership/affiliation fees. There are a range of membership/affiliation reductions for various categories to which you may be entitled. The Secretary and/or Treasurer will advise. The Backworth Miners’ Welfare and Club Membership fees are due 1st February and affiliation fees are due by 30th September. We have a session / target fee for members (currently £2.00 per session), but visiting Archers are welcome at any of our regular shoots (space permitting) for a session / target fee of £4.00 on production of a current National Archery Association membership card.

During the indoor season, we normally shoot 20 yards at much smaller target faces but there are a number of other rounds that we can shoot.


Almost anyone can take part in archery. There is no upper age limit but we will evaluate children to ensure that, in our opinion, they can shoot without harm. Juniors under 14 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Many impairments can also be catered for (including wheelchair users and those with Visual Impairments (VI’s)). However please notify us in advance so we can ensure the impaired archers are suitability catered for. We can arrange for any specific equipment that may be needed to ensure the success of the session.

No, there is no maximum age for archery; plenty of people take up the sport after retiring.

This is linked to ability to draw the bow and loose the arrow rather than age. We have trained archers as young as eight. Please contact us for advice.

Yes. Many Visually Impaired Archers ranging from those with some difficulty seeing to those totally without sight shoot for enjoyment and in competitions. There is much equipment and coaching to help. Depending on the degree of sight loss we ask that they are supported by a helper at all times.

Yes, within certain physical parameters, we are able to help and coach almost anybody to become archers. Depending on the degree of impairment we ask that they are supported by a helper at all times.

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