Visually impaired (VI) archery

Castle Moat and Folkestone Bowmen welcomes archers of all abilities. The club is extremely proud to have elite GB VI Archer, Melissa Carter as one of its members. The club ran a successful indoor archery experience for visually impaired children and teens in February 2012. If you would like to know how to get involved in the sport, please contact our coaches.

To follow Melissa's progress, please visit our members' news page.

Archery for the visually impaired began in Europe in the 1970s, but only took off in clubs up and down the country from the 1980s. Up until then it was only at St. Dunstans archery club, outside Brighton, that VI archery was practised. In 1985, a group of VI archers met with ArcheryGB to formulate the rules for the sport and enable visually impaired and able-bodied archers to compete alongside each other.
To read more about the history of VI Archery, please visit British Blind Sport.

VI archers use sights; either a bowsight or tactile sighting aid, depending on the level of their impairment. St Dunstans (Blind Veterans UK), has a very good explanation on how VI archery works.

VI archery in action at CM&FB

Pictures of CM&FB member and GB VI Archer Melissa Carter in session, along with a video of British Blind Sport's 2010 Fletcher's National Blind Archery Indoor Championships.

VI archery on the international stage

In 2007, only Britain, USA, Belgium, France and Italy participated in VI Archery at the IPC World Championships. Times have now changed and more countries are training VI archers, including Australia, Singapore and South Korea. The hope is that if more countries enter VI Archers at the next IPC World Championships, then the discipline will be adopted fully and the next stop will be the Paralympic Games in 2020.

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