1981 was proclaimed the International Year of Disabled Persons (IYDP) by the United Nations with an emphasis on equalization of opportunities, rehabilitation and prevention of disabilities. Objectives of the Year included: increasing public awareness; understanding and acceptance of persons who are disabled; and encouraging persons with disabilities to form organizations through which they can express their views and promote action to improve their situation.
As part of the ‘international year of the disabled’ a 10 week course in archery for the disabled and physically handicapped was organised by Wyre Forest District Council. As a result of the success of this course, an inaugural meeting was held on 15th September 1981 with Ted Turner (WFDC recreation officer) and interested persons with a view to forming an archery club. Lois Hawkins who was a member of the National Association of Archery Coaches was invited to the meeting to highlight the necessary requirements.
The following officers were elected:
- Chairman – Lois Hawkins
- Secretary – Margaret Wildman
- Treasurer – Ken Pope
- Records Officer – R Minton
- Ordinary Members – Jim McLeod, M Corrigan, Terry Beese
The club’s first AGM was held on 10th September 1982. Realising that the club was now growing in size, it was felt that a social secretary also needed to be appointed to manage social events.
Two names were proposed for the newly formed club, Wyre Forest Archery Club and Wyre Forest Company of Archers – attendees voted unanimously for the 2nd one!
Initially there were 18 members (from the meeting) who started shooting at Harry Cheshire High School. The club later moved to Offmoor Farm, then the Stourport Road football ground and finally to its present home at Upper Arley.
If you have more to add to the WFCA story, please get in touch as we’d love to hear from you!