Archery clubs and inclusive names.

Timid Toad

Moderator
Staff member
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Fonz Awardee
Ironman
I'm in two clubs, XXXXXX Archers and YYYYYY Bowmen.

As a bloke, it's never been one of my concerns, but I can understand how some members would find the name 'Bowmen' non-inclusive; I'd be perfectly happy if both clubs were called ______ Archers, and I'd support the name change and anyone proposing it. I'd be surprised if anyone at either of my clubs would oppose such a measure proposed in good faith.

But...

This is a big change and will need a lot of work. It's not just a case of picking a new inclusive sounding name and going with it. You'd have to:
  • Canvas the club for support.
  • Draft a resolution for the AGM, propose it, and drive through the change at the AGM.
  • Update the club constitution.
  • Contact the club's governing body notifying them of the change and make sure that they act upon it.
  • Contact the club's insurers (if the club is independently insured) notifying them of the name change and make sure that they act upon it.
  • Contact the club's bank and get the name of the accounts changed.
  • Contact any lessors and/or rentors notifying them of the name change of the lessee/rentee.
  • Update the club's website/e-mail/social media presence to reflect the change.
  • And do any other stuff that doesn't spring to mind off the top of my head.
Most of this stuff should theoretically be simple but any or all of these could easily turn into a massive pain in the ***.

In my experience most committee members think that they do enough for the club and aren't looking for more work; if this were to be done and done properly it would need to be done by someone committed to the change, otherwise it won't happen or will get started and won't get finished.

In my opinion (and this may sound harsh, and if it does I'm sorry) if anyone wants this change then I'll support them but they need to take ownership of the issue and drive it through themselves, which they can do if they are a member of the club. And if they won't then they must not care enough. But if they do then they will get a sense of achievement at making a difference, an insight into the workings of the club, and maybe enthusiasm to become a future committee member or president.

TL;DR: It's your club; if you want a change then crack on and make it.
Yes, once you've got AGM agreement you'll probably need a subgroup or side committee to work on it. I don't think anyone would expect overnight change. But the acceptance that that change is possible is important.
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
I'm in two clubs, XXXXXX Archers and YYYYYY Bowmen.

As a bloke, it's never been one of my concerns, but I can understand how some members would find the name 'Bowmen' non-inclusive; I'd be perfectly happy if both clubs were called ______ Archers, and I'd support the name change and anyone proposing it. I'd be surprised if anyone at either of my clubs would oppose such a measure proposed in good faith.

But...

This is a big change and will need a lot of work. It's not just a case of picking a new inclusive sounding name and going with it. You'd have to:
  • Canvas the club for support.
  • Draft a resolution for the AGM, propose it, and drive through the change at the AGM.
  • Update the club constitution.
  • Contact the club's governing body notifying them of the change and make sure that they act upon it.
  • Contact the club's insurers (if the club is independently insured) notifying them of the name change and make sure that they act upon it.
  • Contact the club's bank and get the name of the accounts changed.
  • Contact any lessors and/or rentors notifying them of the name change of the lessee/rentee.
  • Update the club's website/e-mail/social media presence to reflect the change.
  • And do any other stuff that doesn't spring to mind off the top of my head.
Most of this stuff should theoretically be simple but any or all of these could easily turn into a massive pain in the ***.

In my experience most committee members think that they do enough for the club and aren't looking for more work; if this were to be done and done properly it would need to be done by someone committed to the change, otherwise it won't happen or will get started and won't get finished.

In my opinion (and this may sound harsh, and if it does I'm sorry) if anyone wants this change then I'll support them but they need to take ownership of the issue and drive it through themselves, which they can do if they are a member of the club. And if they won't then they must not care enough. But if they do then they will get a sense of achievement at making a difference, an insight into the workings of the club, and maybe enthusiasm to become a future committee member or president.

TL;DR: It's your club; if you want a change then crack on and make it.
dvd8n I thing that sums up the feelings that I have, including the wish to be inclusive; had our name used "Archers" the problem for us would never have existed. Our values would not need to change, as we are inclusive in all but name... and that is acceptable to some, though not all.
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
Ben, I think you have hit a nail on its head there.
I am not against all changes; sometimes changes are just about necessary for a club to survive.
There is something that I find often gets buried in discussions like this. When clubs first get started, all the work is done by the founder members, or at least many of them. The club becomes what they wanted it to be or what they were willing to accept. If new blood comes in and changes are made, it is easy for the original "workers" to feel taken over.
It is like a child brings over a few friends after school and these friends decide which tv channel they are going to watch. How does the child of the house feel; and his/her parents?
The " old guard" are out voted but they are still there having their values ignored.
Some might say that it isn't "Their club" which is correct, but it was their club when they made the effort to get it sorted. It should come as no surprise that some resistance to change will be shown.
 


bimble

Well-known member
Supporter
Fonz Awardee
Ironman
Almost every athletics events are split into men's and women's. Swimming, Gymnastics, football, cricket are much the same.
What I really meant was archery rounds could be inclusive; no need to separate them. Those that showed to be unfair to one gender would end up evolving back into single gender event. So, for example, the indoor rounds might stay mixed.
I was agreeing that in some instances some separation might still be the way to go.
though the stats show that even indoors the scores put down by men are higher (both in value and number of) than that of women, so mixed events would be a really good way to dramatically lower the number of women standing on the podium. Which certainly wouldn't be very encouraging.
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
Hi Bimble that would be the case, only if having mixed rounds meant the removal of separate rounds for men and women.
I can't see any reason for not having mixed and separated rounds.
On the line , two sections, one for the men one for the women. If anyone is wanting to take part in a mixed round, the women can shoot in the men's section if they choose. Men can shoot in the women's section if they choose. Archers decide which medals they are going for. The mixed medals, the men's medals or the women's medals.
Men cannot go for women's medals/ women can't go for men's medals. It may come at a cost as regards the paperwork; extra work for someone!!!
 


Kernowlad

Active member
This is one of the most common things I come across in clubs. Everyone wants there to be a club there for them to come to, but very few want to be the ones who are there to do the things that need to be done. I realise Kernowlad that thats not really quite what you are saying, and I am taking your comment out of context, but it rang a truth with me.
I ran a survey recently and one of the questions was about what members needed to be able to attend more frequently. 20% of replies said "more opportunities to shoot", but during the summer (when this survey was done) our club shoots 7 days a week. When I asked for volunteer key holders to open up, no one was available. You can lead a horse to water
I see your point but you need to understand that many archers are casual archers. And isolating them and trying to make them feel guilty for not being able to commit much time isn’t going to help at all.
Encouraging them and recognising that different levels of commitment are okay is what is needed and maybe they might be the next club champion or be able to commit considerable time and resources later on in life?

Even this tiny group shows that the old fashioned attitudes don’t work. Guilt trips don’t work. Excessive fees don’t work (AGB membership is more than three times the cost of NFAS for absolutely no additional benefits). Sexism doesn’t work.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the input on these recent posts; let’s keep it positive.
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
Encouraging them and recognising that different levels of commitment are okay is what is needed
I agree with that. BUT not all archers are made the same way. Just as some are unable to commit as much as others; so there are people in every walk of life who do not have positive attitudes to " strangers".( strangers as in not known to them.)
Some, take a long time and a lot of contact to get over their reserve. If the newcomer is not there often, no progress is made.
 


Kernowlad

Active member
I agree with that. BUT not all archers are made the same way. Just as some are unable to commit as much as others; so there are people in every walk of life who do not have positive attitudes to " strangers".( strangers as in not known to them.)
Some, take a long time and a lot of contact to get over their reserve. If the newcomer is not there often, no progress is made.
Do you mean from an established members point of view (the cliquey types) or a newcomers point of view?
What you’re implying is that irregular archers won’t get on with others. My own experience is that some do. I came back from our old target club AGM feeling pretty negative.
I returned from our field club Christmas do feeling very chirpy and positive. We’ve been given the opportunity to shoot at numerous tournaments (the only one we ever did at the target club was hosted by the club; my son was put in the wrong category and had to shoot 144 arrows way too far and one entire round was missed due to an error by the person supposedly looking after him; he’s a very stoical chap but he was in tears twice) and made to feel very welcome.
 


chuffalump

Well-known member
Labels.
Gender.
Sexual Preference.
Race.
Creed.
Colour.

None of it means anything unless you want it to mean something, then you are being prejudice/racist/sexist/genderist whatever!

The world was a much nice place when people where just people.. Identity politics (which is EXACTLY what this thread is) is ruining the western world!
Except that there has NEVER been a time when people were just people. Right from prehistoric times there has always been us...and...them. Even in 'us' there has always been 'us' and 'not quite as good as us...us'.
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
What you’re implying is that irregular archers won’t get on with others.
I actually thought. " just as some are unable to commit as much as others" would represent your situation; and "the people who do not have a positive attitude to strangers" would represent the archers who have been there a while. The "strangers" being the newcomers. So the members from a few years ago are having problems making friends with new arrivals.
I am a little surprised that you thought I was implying anything unkind about yourself.
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
I'll be interested to hear their response!
I have had a reply.
The idea has already cropped up in a workshop they ran recently.
In summary.
Would want to see responses from other clubs.
Perhaps start by not accepting new clubs with bowmen in them. There are 184 at present 20% of the total.
Classification names would need changing. Will they be separated men/women or master archer? What resistance will there be?
 


Kernowlad

Active member
I actually thought. " just as some are unable to commit as much as others" would represent your situation; and "the people who do not have a positive attitude to strangers" would represent the archers who have been there a while. The "strangers" being the newcomers. So the members from a few years ago are having problems making friends with new arrivals.
I am a little surprised that you thought I was implying anything unkind about yourself.
It came across a bit strong and I was slightly playing Devil’s advocate.
Just discussing the points; definitely not implying any negative feeling. Sorry if it came across that way.
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
I was a bit vague; I just felt that as we were in a running conversation it would follow on that you were the occasional shooters... etc,
However, glad we are sorted out.
The problem with cliques is most obvious in small clubs where there is only one. Bigger clubs have more cliques so new archers should be able to find one they want to join.
 


Emmadragon

Supporter
Supporter
I'm in one of the 'foresters' clubs, and previously I was in an 'archers' club. As a Laydee, I have to say that the foresters club is way more welcoming to ladies in particular, and all new starters in general, than my other club, but I don't think that was anything to do with the name. There is, however, a 'bowmen of' club equally near us, and the name was part of the reason I chose not to join them.
With regard to numbers, we have in the order of 160 club members, and I've never known more than about 20 on the line at any one time. But then, we're very lucky, we have a year round field open to all members.
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
Thanks Emma,a choice of 3 clubs is good, I feel. The word Bowmen was partly why you chose not to join them; what was the other reason, may I ask?
 


Emmadragon

Supporter
Supporter
Honestly? They weren't the closest geographically (we're actually ridiculously well served with clubs near us, there is a list of around a dozen within conceivable driving distance), and I've met some of their members at tournaments, and not liked them. From further reports I've heard since, they are also horribly clique-y, and rather rude if you choose to not shoot barebow!
 


ben tarrow

Active member
I have had a reply.
The idea has already cropped up in a workshop they ran recently.
In summary.
Would want to see responses from other clubs.
Perhaps start by not accepting new clubs with bowmen in them. There are 184 at present 20% of the total.
Classification names would need changing. Will they be separated men/women or master archer? What resistance will there be?
Geoff, are you saying that ArcheryGB should start dictating what names clubs can use?
Advise and guide yes, dictate? NO!
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
Hi Ben,
NO I am not saying AGB should dictate what names can be used.
From my own personal point of view; if clubs have names that imply they are male only, they may want to change them. Our club is one in that position. I think the committee will decide whether or not to change it after/if it gets raised at a meeting.
I asked AGB what their position is and are they wanting clubs to remove "bowmen" if they use it. The response is what I wrote out in summary form.
By the way, Ben, I sent what I thought was a PM to you about your club's Beginners' lesson every Saturday. Did that get through?
 


pipeski

Member
I deliberately chose the '[place] Archers' format for our club name when I formed it. My problem with 'bowmen' is actually twofold: it's unnecessarily gendered, but it's also perpetuating the 'ye olde archery' language that I feel we still see too much of in the sport (unless you want to be one of those historical reenactment groups or something). I likewise have a problem with using the terms 'ladies' and 'gentlemen' in competitions, again terms that are long overdue for retirement. I have no problem with people using those words in general if they wish, but I don't think they really belong in a modern sport. Likewise the outdoor classification names are a bit of a relic.

But that's really only the tip of the iceberg. We have a generation or more of people now who have grown up with the idea that gender is not a simple binary, or indeed something that's fixed. Sport as a whole has been struggling with how to deal with this for a while; but things change and you adapt, even if we're not all agreed on how we want things to change.
 


Emmadragon

Supporter
Supporter
I ran a survey recently and one of the questions was about what members needed to be able to attend more frequently. 20% of replies said "more opportunities to shoot", but during the summer (when this survey was done) our club shoots 7 days a week. When I asked for volunteer key holders to open up, no one was available. You can lead a horse to water
Our club gets around this by giving all members a key code, which is changed every year, to the various padlocks and keypads that allow access into the 'common' parts of the club ground - that is, the ground itself, the club hut, and the shed where target faces are stored. Club coaches and committee members then have keys for the other bits - equipment shed, coaches shed; tournament shed. So if you want to get into the field anytime, and there's no-one else around, it doesn't matter. Our bosses are out permanently, and easy to move around on wheels, so it's all rather splendid. All they ask is that you tidy up after yourself, and sign in and out so that they know how much the ground is being used.
 


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