Bridlington archery tournament cancelled due to costs

Archers take aim at a previous tournament at Bridlington Sports Centre.
Archers take aim at a previous tournament at Bridlington Sports Centre.

A LONG-standing archery tournament which brings more than 100 people into Bridlington annually has been cancelled because of rising costs.

The Archers of Bridlington and Burton Agnes (ABBA) have cancelled their annual indoor archery tournament which was due to take place on Sunday.

For the past several years the competition, which is regarded as one of the biggest indoor shoots in the north of England, has been held at Bridlington Sports Hall.

But now the club has said that due to the rising cost of hall hire, which this year stands at £600 – and which is set to go up again by £50 next year – and a shortage of sponsorship, they have been forced to cancel the event.

Pete Rollin, chairman of the ABBA, said: “This is an extremely popular event which has been held every year since the early 1980s.”

“This is a sad loss to the town especially as archers bring their families with some groups of archers staying in Bridlington for the weekend,” he added.

The event attracted around 120 archers ranging from novices to experienced archers, including juniors, with longbow, recurve and compound bows catered for.

The total cost of staging the shoot now stands at around £1,000, which includes hall hire, judges fees and expenses, target faces, medals, and administrative costs.

While most of the tournament costs are recouped through entry fees and a raffle the club have struggled to secure enough sponsorship to cover costs, while negotiations to reduce the hall hire charge have failed.

Mr Rollin said: “Discussions with the management of the sports hall have failed to secure a reduction in hire charges.

“I have also been in contact with the East Riding of Yorkshire Council Sports Development department, who have also declined to offer assistance.”

The club is self-supporting, obtaining funds by holding coaching courses, have-a-go shoots and hosting visits by schools, clubs and organisations to cover running costs and for the purchase of equipment.

In early 2000 the club was forced to cancel the tournament, which used to be held at the Spa, for two years running because of a shortage of funds.

Darren Stevens, head of culture and information at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “The council is disappointed that this year’s Bridlington Archery Club indoor tournament, due to be held at Bridlington Sports Centre this weekend, will not be taking place.

“The council has a pricing policy in place across all its leisure centres and we spoke with the event organisers in 2009 about this, as they had previously been obtaining discounted hire charges.

“To ensure the event could continue, it was agreed with the organisers that they could stagger the increase in hire charges over three years, allowing them time to secure sponsorship for the event.

“The council has provided assistance to the club and the organisers for a number of years and is keen to see the event return to the venue in the future.”

The club is hopeful it will be able to hold the event again next year, if it can secure sufficient sponsorship. Anyone who wants to help should call Pete Rollin on 673145.