I've recently started working fulltime (the 9 to 5 grind) and I'm trying really hard to not be boring (I'll probably give up in a few weeks). But I've been looking around for things to do other than brunching and 'wining' (not that there's anything wrong with either; just expanding my horizons). And during some brilliant brain wave it hit me, "I've always thought I'll make a good elf". No I didn't join a secret elvish cult, instead I tried out some 'elvish weapons'.
And by this I mean I went and tried out an archery class. I hunted around a bit on google for a suitable location and was surprised to find that there were only a handful of options. Given that I'm lazy and didn't want to venture too far out from the city I settled for Kew City Bowmen in (yes, you guessed it), Kew. Only a 10-20 minute drive from the city, it can be accessed via tram as well (Tram route 48) if you are up for bit of a walk.
There are three options for the Beginner's course, Saturday 1pm and Sunday 10am and 12:30pm. I am a genius and misread the website and showed up at 2:30, but luckily they were happy for us to have a go till 4pm. But don't be me, and turn up at the right time. The class costs $20 and lasts two hours. Located in a nice parkland (Hays Paddock) it's a good location to be at on a weekend.
The class is taught by master bowman Rob McKenzie who impressed us with both his bow skills and humour. The participants are provided with all the equipment including the bow, arrows and the um… the thing that you wear to protect your fingers. Google tells me these are called finger tabs.
I have to confess I didn't look as cool as I thought I would with the bow. At 5.2ft, I felt rather dwarfed by the bow, which was much bigger than I thought. However, my confidence went up as my worst nightmare of the arrow falling flat on the ground as I release the string didn't come true. And my ego positively exploded the few times I hit the bullseye on what was presumably a 5m target. I am surely going to be ready for the Olympics in 3 years. Let's not discuss the few times the arrow flew over the target and I had to pull it out of the grass.
If you are a little more serious about becoming an elf (or Katniss Everdeen) than I am, there are private classes available as well. These cost $50 and need to be pre-booked. And for those who are no longer beginners, casual attendance costs $20, doesn't require advanced booking and has the same times as the beginners' course. There are different target distances and the sessions cater to all skill levels with Rob always nearby with handy tips.
I definitely recommend giving this a try. It's also a great workout for your arms, I was still suffering after two days (yes, I lift… pencils). Be sure to wear outdoor clothes, comfy shoes, sun screen and a hat that won't blow away with the wind. P.S: The class is for those aged over 8 years.