Jack's Ridge 3D Archery Club signs lease for new home in state forest

Say hello to Jack's Ridge 3D Archery Club Inc.

For the past eight months or so, our local archers have been waiting for the green light on their own little patch of land.

The club's original home, nestled in the bush at the Macksville Country Club, was a testament to the enterprising nature of its members; two artfully manicured ranges with up to 50 targets and disability access to boot.

But hosting an invitational, with the hundreds of campers that often entails, was not doable in that space.

Without the revenue that an event of that nature would bring into the club (and the local economy) the future of 3D archery in the Valley was looking pretty grim.

So the committee went hunting for a more adequate site to one day call home.

That day has finally arrived, with Forestry NSW signing a five-year lease over to them, with options to extend well into their rosy future.

Over the past week, club members have been putting their blood, sweat and tears into clearing the jungle of lantana from the one kilometre squared site in the Nambucca State Forest.

They will host their first shoot meeting on Sunday, July 14, from 9.30am and invite anyone with a skerrick of curiosity about archery to come and check out what they're all about.

There's no need to worry about stringing together your own bow either (unless you want to), the club has ample supplies to get you started.

But a warning: it can be addictive once you start.

committee member Robert Channells

The best part about the sport, according to Mr Channels: it's fun for all ages.

"It's a real family sport. We have shooters from age five to me - I'm 76," he said.

"It's a sport you can start as a kid and it goes for a lifetime. The kids, they're not getting knocked over, and it builds so much self-confidence."

Mr Channels said 3D archery is just the sort of activity to soothe the soul, especially given the growing prevalence of depression and anxiety in this modern day and age.

And he says it's not all about shooting either.

"I've been playing at it since I was a kid, making bows out of sticks and bits of string. Then about two or three years ago I heard about the club and joined. I've now made two successful long bows...and lots of kindling."

The new range is a little rough around the edges. And the club is still on the prowl for sponsors to help them acquire a new set of foam targets (which can cost up $20K for a full set) and some shipping containers to build a semi-permanent clubhouse.

We've got the space now, just not the money.

Robert Channells

But they have a grand vision for the new location which includes making the range disability accessible, and a plan for native tree revegetation.

And this November the new site will be transformed into the official practice range for the national 3D Archery championships. The club is tasked with running the canteen and would love some sponsorship for that endeavour too.

The turnoff for the new base is opposite Valley Rural Supplies, 4km along Jacks Ridge Road.

If you want to know more, contact Robert Channells on 0409 647-531, or Ron Edwards on 0427 431-191.

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