A couple of years ago, I was informed by my club secretary that DWAA (Dorset and Wiltshire Archery Association) was in need of volunteers to help its committee. My first thoughts were ‘Who is DWAA?’, and ‘What do they do?’, so I started to dig.
You may be surprised to learn that after, nearly half a century in archery, I was asking these simple questions. As a hobby archer, I need a few more years practice before my shooting is good enough to appear above half way in any competition results list – so I rarely enter any, other than my club and local friendly shoots at other local clubs. So, I was not involved with County or Region or National Shoots.
My investigation into DWAA gave me an insight into what they do and how they are vital to all archers in the counties of Dorset and Wiltshire. Let me explain why I came to this conclusion and why I was very willing to give my time to this organization.
I found out that DWAA was responsible for ‘Authorising’ all training that leads to coaching qualifications in the Counties. Thus, your Level 1 and 2 qualified coaches would have qualified by attending a Counties’ authorised course, and they would have been eligible for a grant for the cost of the course (the region organisation, GWAS, will match any Grant awarded by DWAA). The Counties also provide grants for other reasons such as clothing for Judges (where would we be if the Judges have no clothes?!!!!), and for archers who represent the counties in competitions. The DWAA also has discretionary funds for grants to individual archers.
I also found out that the DWAA website is a central location for what is going on in local clubs, thus saving me and any archer, having to consult many websites.
I also found out that the DWAA, besides organising various competitions in the area, also selects and supports and manages local archers (both senior and junior) to represent the county.
The DWAA also provides various services to help individual clubs. One of the simplest is allowing the clubs to send the GWAS fees and forms alongside their DWAA forms and fees (reducing postage and complexity for clubs). Clubs also have access to a person who can help navigate and resolve ‘protection’ issues or even disputes within clubs; this is a major advantage to clubs as it can involve a lot of negotiation and skill to get to a resolution.
Clubs can also use DWAA to find Judges for their competition, as well as borrowing a set of official timing lights (which are held by DWAA).
So, if like me you want the DWAA organisation to continue, do please get involved and offer your help (not all help has to involve attending committee meetings), and do be aware that as the counties are so large any costs involved in helping to run the DWAA are reimbursable (including mileage).
A summary of key services provided by your County committee is included on page 2.
Written by Ralph Wood
For the Archer :-
For Clubs :-