Let’s take a look at the equipment. The bows are fairly heavy – you might be surprised. We’ll spend a moment practising holding the bow properly before we load one up. I’m holding it now in the position in which you’ll hold it. The drawstring is here and again you might be surprising at the tension. You’ll need to practise drawing back the string. Just above the middle of the bow here is the 16 *sight*. You look through this as you would with a rifle. Using a bow and arrow without a sight is perfectly possible – most master archers do this – but having one will certainly help you to start off with.
Now I’ll put the bow down and show you an arrow. The 17*shafts* of our arrows are wooden but fibre glass arrow shafts are now common too. Traditionally, as I’m sure you’ll know, the 18*fletching* at the top of the arrow – I mean not the tip end of the arrow – was made of feathers. We have some arrows with feather fletching but we also have some with what we call vanes. That means the fletching is made of solid plastic. All of you have a 19*quiver* with six arrows in it. You should tie the strap of the quiver around your waist like this. As I’ve said, you take an arrow from your quiver when I say so – when it’s your turn and not before. Oh, I nearly forgot – protection. Everyone has a chest guard and hand guard like those that I’m wearing – I’ll show you how to put the chest guard on in a moment – and a 20*bracer*. The bracer’s a smaller arm pad that protects the inside of your arm from the string. For those of you in a T-shirt today that’s important but the bracer will also stop the string catching on the sleeve of a jumper or jacket. Right, so before we pick up the bows, let’s have a look at these chest Guards