Members of University Archery Clubs

OK, it is still a little while until the university summer vacations start, but here is some information that arose from a recent query that might be helpful.

An increasing number of students at universities are taking up archery either as a spare time leisure activity or because their university offers the opportunity of competitive sport through BUCS (formerly known as BUSA). They offer competition between British universities and right up to an annual World University Archery Championships - and FITA are currently working toward having archery accepted as one of the core events in the biennial World University Games (also known as the Universiade).

It is because of this increasing profile of archery that clubs could well be approached by students returning home for the summer vacation, who want to continue to shoot during the long vac. Another possibility is that students might approach clubs so that they can shoot more often than their university facilities provide for.

In either case it is important to note that they must be able to provide proof of GNAS membership before they can shoot at a GNAS club or tournament and not all universities provide that membership. Without it there is a risk that club insurance cover will be compromised.

It is unusual, but some university archery clubs are not affiliated to any archery organisation and presumably provide insurance cover for their local activity through the university sports department or faculty.

Most university archery clubs are affiliated to BUCS and this provides cover for activity organised by and through BUCS, but on its own does not provide the necessary membership of and insurance cover from GNAS.

The third possibility is that a university archery club is affiliated to GNAS in exactly the same way as our other clubs (possibly in addition to BUCS affiliation). If this is the case then its members are able to shoot at other GNAS clubs and tournaments; and, importantly, they will have been provided with a GNAS membership card as proof of membership.

Even if the student is not a member, it is of course also possible for him/her to become a member of your club, subject to your normal conditions of membership.

On the face of it, it might seem a bit strange that BUCS membership does not confer any GNAS benefits, as BUCS is recognised by GNAS as an "Associated Organisation".

However, this works in exactly the same way as for other Associated Organisations, like the Civil Service Archery Association and those for branches of the armed forces - clubs affiliated to any of these must also affiliate to GNAS for their members to receive GNAS benefits.