Southern Field Archers
Speech to Parliament
November 19, 2014
Mr WINGARD ( Mitchell ) ( 15:21 ): I rise today to speak about the Southern Field Archers on Majors Road in O'Halloran Hill in the delightful electorate of Mitchell.
I had the pleasure on the weekend of having a good look around one of the two courses they have on 17 acres of national park in the rolling Adelaide foothills. The Southern Field Archers has magnificent views over Adelaide and the southern beaches. It really was an outstanding afternoon in Adelaide and a fantastic place to be, a real hidden treasure of Adelaide, South Australia. I recommend that everyone get along and have a look. The views, as I said, from O'Halloran Hill are outstanding.
It was great to meet Kym, Jeff and Alby and I was able to do a round with Kym and Jeff, two seasoned campaigners, and, as it turned out, Kym had an outstanding day. I might have been his lucky charm: I think he scored 388 or 386 out of 400, one of his best performances, so he might get me back there again soon. As I mentioned, there are two ranges which take advantage of the beautiful terrain providing a multitude of challenging uphill, downhill and cross-gully shots. In fact, the gentleman who set the targets on the weekend set a couple of very tricky ones where you had to shoot through some long grass even to hit the target. It was quite fascinating.
There are 3D targets and a mix of American and Australian targets, ranging from rabbits to water buffalo. The Southern Field Archers shoot ABA paper targets, FITA, IFAA and 3D events, as I mentioned, and they are predominantly from unmarked distances, so you have to calculate it manually and work out how far you think the distance is when you are challenging yourself. There is a fully functional clubroom with a dining facility, workshop and practice area, as well as ample parking for everyone.
The targets in natural bush settings add an extra challenge. Shooting in natural settings and walking to the next target makes this a pleasant and interesting way to do archery. In fact, it is a lot like golf—as you move around the 20 targets, the arrows point towards the next target so that you take the right path. If you take the wrong path, you do not want to walk across someone else shooting, obviously. It is a whole lot of fun and a beautiful way to spend the afternoon. Walking from target to target, archers can really enjoy the great outdoors and some of those beautiful views over the city and get a bit of exercise in the process.
I also learnt a bit more about the bows; there are recurve bows and compound bows, but crossbows are not allowed. I did inquire about the cost of some of these bows because they are relatively high tech. The compound bows are a bit more expensive, costing up to $1,000, and they have a few tricks on them to help you with your sights. The recurve bows are the more conventional ones you would remember from the olden days; the people who use them do a marvellous job, as it is a very highly skilled operation.
The Southern Field Archers encourage people of all ages. It is a great family sport. If you are coming along for the first time, the Southern Field Archers asks that you contact them so they can have someone free to set you up with the right equipment and get you started. It is a great way to spend a Sunday and you might just discover a new passion. Interestingly, a lot of younger women are getting into archery, having seen a lot of movies on TV, and there are a couple of young women doing some outstanding jobs with the Southern Field Archers.
The Southern Field Archers can also help you with equipment, instruction and as much advice as you can stand. If you do not have any equipment, do not worry, the club has bows and all the equipment for beginners for a small charge. It is a good idea not go to out and buy a bow until you understand what sort of shooting you wish to do. As I mentioned, there are different types of bows and you can decide whether you want to go with the more rudimentary bows or with something a little bit more high tech. It is really up to you which way you want to go.
The members are wonderfully friendly. As I said, I got to meet quite a few on the weekend. They are a great bunch and they really do enjoy a wonderful day out. They start you off on the range with some safety instruction and coaching and they give you the chance to learn about all the equipment, the technique, form, range rules and safety procedures, and before you know it you will be ready to shoot your own round.
The SFA has been host to a number of big events as well: the Australian Junior Nationals 2014, the Australian Masters Games 2011, the Australian Senior National Games 2009, the Australian Junior Nationals 2008, the World Police and Fire Games 2007, the Australasian Masters Games 2007 and the 3D Australian Masters Games 2005. Interestingly, some of the competitors who have come from overseas and then gone back, I have heard stories about people bumping into friends in New York and across Europe and they still talk about this wonderful facility and this great part of South Australia at O'Halloran Hill where you get these superb views and great facilities for archery.
Check out their website for upcoming events. The SFA is able to boast a comprehensive annual shoot calendar. On 16 November there is a 3D shoot and on 7 December there is a Christmas shoot. So, check out their website, or if you go to coreywingard.com.au there will be a link on that website as well.