Range Returner Case Study

Archery returnee Patryk Podlas tells us about his happy return to AC Delco Bowmen at Eastleigh in Hampshire.

“Archery gives me joy and a sense of accomplishment.”

Why did you leave the sport?

I left archery for a considerable amount of time due to having other things to take care of, such as living on my own for the first time, focusing on my career and relationship etc. I just stopped going to the range and forgot about it.

What made you want to return?

I missed the times where I could just turn up to the field in the sun, and have a refreshing time away from the city where I live. I could completely relax and be focused solely on one thing – getting the arrow in the centre. I also found that I’m not too bad at this sport and wanted to continue to improve my skills.

Have you found it difficult to pick up from where you left off? Have you been able to access any coaching at the club, if you’ve wanted it?

I exchanged a couple of emails and phone calls with my coach Nick to get back into archery. Everything went really smoothly and I booked the slot through AC Delco’s Graham Hadfield over the phone, turned up to the field and started with the basics until I remembered everything. The whole experience was just amazing and really enjoyable.

Would you consider yourself a novice?

I would consider myself to be naturally good at the sport. I would say I’m intermediate, or so my coach leads me to believe, which is great as it motivates me!

What is it that you love about archery and being part of the club?

The uniqueness and competitiveness of the sport; the feeling when I draw the arrow slowly and focus on the target, and the feeling when it lands dead centre, over and over again. Archery gives me joy and a sense of accomplishment. It’s one of the things I think I could be good at. Being a member of a club where the coaching team is really supportive, always available and always looking to help other club members is really great. Other members of the club are also very friendly and helpful; it feels like a great community.

Is it something that you look forward to each week?

It really is. I always try to book the session in advance but recently have been very busy so even though I want to shoot every week, the weather and schedules don’t match up too well.

Does archery fit in well with your lifestyle?

Archery is something closely aligned with my personality; I would say that it does fit very well.

And what are your archery ambitions?

For a start, I want to be the best in the club. I want to participate in more events, like a recent one where I was able to get a feel for a tournament-style competition. Eventually, I’d like to attend some type of competition where I can represent the club.