Archers' dream home nears completion
Bob Nicholls with members of Cleve Archers at the club's home near Hambrook
A NINE-year project to create an accessible, year-round community sports club near Downend is nearing completion.
Cleve Archers moved to their Down Yonder ground off Bromley Heath Road in Moorend, Hambrook, in 2013.
Since then the non-profit club has levelled the field to create its target range, created a car park and spent four years planning and then building an accessible clubhouse, with solar power and space for indoor archery and for other groups and activities, from bowls to keep fit.
More than 2,000 trees have been planted and a dry stone wall restored as part of the project, which, once complete, will have cost around £500,000.
The club's 16-member committee has raised the money through a combination of its own funds, loans from members and a series of grants from sporting and other bodies.
A team of ten volunteers has been at work fitting out the clubhouse, doing jobs from concreting and tiling to painting, to reduce costs.
Club spokesperson Bob Nicholls said: "It's been quite a project. Members have been working almost every day for two years."
With the clubhouse finished, the club is holding a grand opening event, and is inviting the local community to visit the site and try archery taster sessions.
The final phase of the project will be to build a shooting shelter at one end of the range, to enable archery to take place all year round.
South Gloucestershire Council has given the club a grant of almost £30,000, from funds paid by local developers, to help build the shelter.
Other organisations which have provided grants for the overall project include Sport England, Enovert, Suez, and county and regional archery bodies.
The club has more than 230 members.
They include Olympic archer Larry Godfrey, who represented Great Britain at the Athens, Beijing and London games and has been a member for more than 20 years.
About 60 people have joined in the past year, which chair Bob Nicholls says is down to increasing interest in outdoor activities after the lockdown.
The clubhouse is fully accessible to people with disabilities, including wheelchair access, toilet and shower facilities, in line with the club's ambition to create a multi-sport facility and attract people of all backgrounds and abilities to archery.
Bob is now looking for a new group of volunteers to form a 'men in sheds group' at the club, to help with grounds maintenance, including care of the club's hedgerows, trees and stone walls, and maintaining archery equipment in the clubhouse workshop.
Bob said: "The group would be open to the older or retired age group, who would like to establish new friendships while supporting the club's aims to create an inclusive and welcoming environment."
The club's opening event takes place from 2pm on Sunday August 28.
There will also be taster sessions and beginners' courses starting in September.
For more information visit the website at clevearchers.co.uk or the club's Facebook page.