Hiding in Heidelberg Heights is a no nonsense indoor archery range. Here, everyone from seven year old children to adults are filtering in after school and on weekends to test their hand-eye co-ordination and shoot arrows at targets, aiming to improve their general strength as well as their concentration skills. All equipment is provided which makes this family activity very easy to achieve. All you need to do is show up.
Instructors are on hand to teach new students how to use the equipment safely, to give advice on technique and gently guide them in the rules of the sport. On the day we visit, two teenagers with sophisticated equipment are shooting at targets 10 metres away, whereas our little ones start with basic bows and shoot at 6 metre boards. A sign on the wall makes it clear how to progress: "Want to move 2m back? First, keep it in the black."
All participants follow the rules to the letter, carefully placing their bows on the rack each time they finish a tube of six arrows and need to retrieve them from the bullseye. Much to my relief, no one is silly enough to shoot towards another person or walk in front of them. The last 15 minutes of each session is dedicated to a competition in which they have 150 arrows to aim at the target. The kids love to see their personal best scores up on the whiteboard chart at the side of the hall, and Glen, the instructor, is encourages them to challenge their tally the next week.
Equipment is for sale on site for those who really want to get serious about the sport.