Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Archery in the Balagne

I have known for some time that archery is bigger news in Corsica than it is in Britain. Unfortunately, my sport gets virtually no coverage in the UK media except in items about the Olympic Games when “our boys and girls” suddenly become medal hopes.

Imagine my delight therefore, when a group of archers, competing in the Balagne, made it to the front page of Corse Matin last week. These archers were competing in a form of the sport in which I have yet to take part – namely field archery, in which groups of archers tramp through the countryside and then take pot-shots at targets across river beds, nestling amongst bushes and in other places where you would least expect them. Twenty archers from all over the island were taking part, and I was pleased to see that the hosts of the event were the local archery club here in Calvi.

At the end of the article were the details of their work-a-day evening meetings, and I decided to go along and take part. Somewhat presumptuously, I had taken my bow with me this visit, and so I was all prepared for the evening.

Much to my surprise, on arriving the Halle des Sports at Calvi, I found just three other adults and a dozen or so lads between the ages of nine and twelve, all eager to learn the sport. The hall was hot and humid – not the best conditions for our sport, and I was not at my best, but it’s always good to talk to other archers whatever their ages.

It was good to get my arms, shoulders and brain working again, and I was given a very warm welcome by the Club’s Président, Monsieur Derond. I have been assured that I will receive an equally warm welcome on future visits, and I greatly look forward to taking further part in the club’s activities.

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