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Published February 15th 2018
Combat archery (by Archery Attack)
Since the 1790s, Australians have been practising archery and after Donald MacKintosh won our first Olympic gold medal in 1900, we waited 100 years for our next win, with Simon Fairweather claiming gold at the Sydney Olympics.
While you won't be able to watch archery at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, you can pick up a bow and arrow to hit your own bullseye, at indoor, outdoor and game-based ranges throughout the Perth.
You can also sign this petition to include archery in the next Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
To get started in archery, you'll need a bow, arrows and ideally, an arm guard covering your inner forearm and a finger guard to protect against bruises from the bow string.
For beginners, the recurve bow, also used by Olympic archers, is an ideal choice. Other options as you progress include compound (using pulleys and cables for increased power and speed), and the traditional longbow.
Each centre has loan equipment for left and right handed archers and instructors to guide you with technique and safety tips.
At every club, safety is the top priority.
Shoot your first arrow at one of these top 7 archery ranges in Perth:
WA Archery Centre - Jules Steiner Memorial Drive, Whiteman
Start at the HQ for Archery WA, our state's non-profit archery association, every Sunday from 9am to 4pm.
Don't let the kangaroos, hopping through the gumtrees, distract you as you get started with the Come & Try experience. Costing $30 for adults, $25 for children, you'll receive coaching and equipment for the 10-target course.
Grab 7 mates and you can book a weekday corporate or school session, celebrating afterward in the club room. Visit WA Archery Centre for details and to book.
Bowmen of Melville - 51 Beasley Rd, Leeming
Draw your first bowstring at the Come 'N' Try program each Saturday at 9.30am for $20. Beginners from age 10 can join in, guided by the safety-conscious instructors.
To hit the bullseye, continue to the beginner's course, a mix of theory and practise to master the basics for consistent, fun archery. The courses are quickly booked out, so email the coaches early at coaching.BOM@gmail.com to register.
Once you're hooked, become a member to practise 7 days a week, also entering in the friendly competition at social events. You can also get expert advice for buying your own bow, arrows and accessories.
Hoddywell Public Archery Park - 1027 Clackline-Toodyay Rd, Toodyay
Archery is often shared with other activities in public spaces so it's a real treat to shoot in a large park dedicated to archers. The Hoddywell Public Archery Park is open Saturday - Wednesday 9.30am - 5pm for archers with their own equipment.
If you need to hire a bow, visit on weekends to experience the the sport, with rounds starting at $20.
The best feature for archers at Hoddywell is the series of adventure trails, each designed for different skill levels, with targets placed at varying distances and angles.
Whereas golf is often considered a good walk spoiled, the undulating trails, surrounded by flora and fauna, are a memorable experience for first-time and expert archers.
Shop for your equipment in WA's largest archery store before retiring to the nearby caravan park and campground.
The park also has an archer/artist, with the history of archery displayed in a colourful mural.
Escape the city at Maida Vale, immersed in the serenity of lush bushland at the base of Perth's foothills. Visitors can shoot on Saturday mornings, with members practising in the afternoon.
The $10 fee for Come and Try and visitor sessions is great value, but once you're a regular, annual membership is the best value, starting at $260 for adults.
There are targets to cater for every archer, ranging from 2D circular targets and field targets, to 3D field targets resembling animals, and clout targets - flags placed at long distances, requiring medieval-style aiming on a high arc to test your accuracy.
On rainy days, keep practising indoors on targets used during state and national tournaments.
Gosnells Archers - Huntingdale Community Centre, Lot 1645 Holmes St, Huntingdale
Gosnells is one of Perth's oldest clubs and an important part of the community. When fire damaged the club in 2016, local donations ensured archers could still practise as the club house and equipment was restored.
The club is now bigger and better, with indoor and outdoor targets for archers of all levels, from age 10 upwards, to aim at on Saturdays.
The beginner courses, on Saturdays at 1pm, are very popular and book out quickly but you can get a head start on the theory with a series of videos on the website.
Archers of Greenwood - Warwick Senior High School Oval, Warwick
In Perth's northern suburbs, the Archers of Greenwood is a convenient choice for Saturday practise sessions, with the club open from 8.15am for recurve, compound and longbow archers.
Start with the beginner's course, as nationally-accredited coaches teach you the basics during 2 4-hour sessions. The course is open for ages 10 , costing $100 for equipment, tuition, insurance and lunch.
Player vs Player archery with Archery Attack can host up to 40 players. Based on LARP (Live Action Role Playing), gamers can re-enact medieval battles and paintball without the bruises, using sponge-tipped arrows and face masks.
An hour battle costs $50/player, with the battlefield setup on an outdoor field near you with inflatable obstacles and targets. Sessions are supervised, equipment is supplied and an instruction briefing is given before the battle.