Archery should be taught in schools, says Graham Allen MP
In the time of the legendary Robin Hood it was law for boys and men to practise with a bow and arrow.
Having an army of archers prepared England for war.
Back to the 21st Century and an MP is trying to get archery introduced into schools.
Nottingham North Labour MP Graham Allen has met primary school head teachers in his constituency to convince them of the benefits of the sport.
Mr Allen said: „It’s a nice sport and everyone can participate, boys and girls. It’s a different set of challenges and once you’ve bought the equipment it’s cost free.
Archery teaches children discipline, self-respect and respect to other competitors”
„Who knows we could find the next Robin Hood or the new world champion.“
In the genes
But how good is archery for children?
Keith Gasgoine, 64, has made bows for almost 50 years in Walesby, Nottinghamshire.
Paralympians Maggie Parker and Anita Chapman won team gold with his bows during the Olympic games in Athens, in 2004.
Mr Gasgoine said schools focused too much on team sports and he argued that a sport like archery could actually improve a child’s self-esteem.
He said: „With archery it is not always the person with the best hand eye co-ordination that becomes the best archer.
„With the right training even the most awkward child can shine with bows and arrows, it’s quite unique in that aspect.
„Archery teaches children discipline, self-respect and respect for other competitors.“
Mr Gasgoine added that archery could also give children a basis for understanding physics and mathematics.
Last week, Graham Allen took part in an archery session with head teachers from around 20 schools in his Nottingham North constituency.
Stuart Chapman, a teacher at Seagrave Primary School, in Strelley, said: „Archery gives you a bit of an adrenalin rush. The kids will get loads out of it.“
Mr Allen has asked the British Archery Association to offer taster sessions to more schools in Nottingham.
If it is a success he would like it to be rolled out across the country and who knows, a new generation of archers could be born.