Deer Park Archers Club was set up in 1995 to run have-a-go archery sessions for Guides and Brownies at the Gloucestershire Guide Activity Centre. Since then the club has developed in many directions to expand the reach of archery within schools and communities, ages and abilities.
This section only covers the Club’s history, if we were to cover the success of our archers who have now won many British, European and World medals it would be even longer!
In 2012 we were awarded the Sport & Recreation Alliance Award for ‘Volunteer Management’. We also achieved both the ‘Young People’ & ‘Performance’ Club Specialisms, and we are currently one of only 2 Archery Clubs in the UK to have achieved all 3 of the Specialisms! We also became the Gloucestershire Media Awards Senior Sports Club of the Year, this was also achieved in the previous 2 years!
In 2013 we were awarded Archery GB “Club of the Year” award, winners of the Archery GB Inter-Club Championships, finalists in the Gloucestershire “Young Club of the Year”, the most successful “junior archery club of the year” and awarded funding to develop Inclusion Archery in Gloucestershire! The was development further forming an Inclusion Section and a Bambi’s Section (5-7 year olds) and embarked on numerous training programmes to support these new members. We also became a CASC (Community Amateur Sports Club).
In September 2014 we formed Deer Park Archers Limited enabling the purchase of our own ground with plans to develop the facilities to support outdoor shooting (target and field) and indoor shooting (during winter months). Early in October saw the arrival of our first 40ft Container to our new outdoor ground and over the following months thanks to the club members, the installation of fencing and landscaping activities as a step to preparing our ground for use in April 2015.
In October 2014 we were informed that we have 4 finalists in the “Gloucestershire Media Awards”! “Young Sports Personality”, “Coach of the Year”, “Disability Sports Performer of the Year” and “Junior Team of the Year”! And we were awarded the Archery GB ‘Innovation Award’.
Before we could use the ground we needed to install a car park, Gloucestershire County Council awarded us a grant in exchange for running open community have a go sessions throughout the summer. We were also helped by Elliott’s Sand & Gravel.
By April 2015 we were ready to start using the ground and later that year we had our official opening.
During 2015 we became an Environmental Body and received a grant from the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust to install drainage across our playing surface.
We were again awarded recognition by a ‘Special Commendation’ from the Sport & Recreation Alliance for our work developing the club and work in the community. We also were recognised by Archery GB who awarded us Ontarget Awards for Partnership, Innovation and Young Volunteer. We were again finalists in the Gloucestershire Sports Media Awards as Community Club of the Year and Disabled Athlete of the Year.
In September 2015 we were awarded a £70,000 grant from the Sport England Inspired Facilities Fund to build a 90ft Covered Shooting Area and install water and electric and a temporary toilet block and sewage system. Work was completed in time for the 2016 outdoor season.
We were awarded the Archery GB Club of the Year for the second time for the 2015/16 year. We were also awarded further grants by Sport England to help us to improve facilities and increase participation (targets which we exceeded by some margin). In 2016 we also ran our first record status event at our new ground and hosted County competitions. We also ran our first World Record Status Tournament at an indoor venue!
In 2016 we also performed at the highest level to meet 2 Sport England/Cabinet Office Audits.
In 2017 we received the Archery GB Performance Club of the Year (for the 2016 year) Award which was the only Ontarget Award we had not won! We achieved ClubMark re-accreditation again! Received 2 grants to help with our coach development from Active Gloucestershire and Archery GB, increasing our coaching capacity to 34 and our membership exceeded 230 for the first time!
We also used our new Compact tractor for the first time which was 50% funded by Tewkesbury Borough Council and the improvement in our playing surface has been fantastic. We have also run 2 outdoor World Record Status events for the first time!
In 2018 we received a £100K grant from the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust, which combined with our wonderful fundraising efforts, further grants from the Summerfield Trust and the Worshipful Company of Fletchers and a superbly constructed business plan we were able to fund a 21m x 10m Modular Construction Clubhouse/Training Centre!
Also in 2018 we received a special award from Archery GB for our outstanding contribution to the Ontarget Programme, consistently exceeding all the criteria targeting Club Development!
We also expanded our field course activity (including organising the County /Field Championships) and continued to develop the course. We consolidated our winter mini-field league, now running fortnightly!
In 2019 we were awarded a grant from the Barnwood Trust to install Social Terracing and together with our own fundraising efforts and great support from Elliotts Sand and Gravel completed that project later that year.
During 2019 we also did extensive work on the field course, built a play area for adapted kit thanks to Tescos, planted a tree for every club member, installed a boule and social area and launched our Short Mat Bowls Section.
Much of the work required was carried out by our newly formed group of ‘men-in-sheds’!
Thanks to a generous donation by a member we also built a new Tournament Control Centre! We also installed a security system and kitted out our ‘men-in-sheds’ shed!
Finally in 2019 we again achieved ClubMark Re-Accreditation once again.
These awards and many others during recent years reflect the ethos of the club and the areas we particularly focus on. If it is worth doing then it is worth doing well! Being at the top and pushing new boundaries & innovations is not easy and one important characteristic of the club is that we are always willing to share our experiences with other clubs and there are many case studies available to share our experiences!