It must be said that archery has come a long way since the days of Agincourt. Archers now have much more advanced bows than the bent sticks used in the Hundred Years War; archery equipment is now made out a variety of materials including aluminium, wood, foam and, of course, carbon fibre.
There are three main types of bow used today. The most common is the recurve bow. More technical than this is the compound; with a system of pulleys that take the weight off the draw, making it easier to pull back. Finally there are the longbows still pining for the days of shooting down a French knight – longbow archers from the wreckage of the Mary Rose were actually found to have one shoulder bigger than the other as a result of archery.
Oxford University Company of Archers is one of the larger clubs in the country. The club competes in the midlands archery league and has finished in the top six at the university nationals three times in the last two years (indoor and outdoor). However, it is not all about the competitions (or the training – we try not to make people deformed!). For those not fussed about competitions, just turn up to a session and have some fun. Beginners are more than welcome at the club and training is offered to as high a level as you want to take it.