:: Kestrels 6th annual Portsmouth Tournament


by Mike Collins


Kestrels Archery Club held its 16th annual Portsmouth Tournament at Stratton Upper School’s sports hall on Sunday. This is the club’s annual start-of-the-season indoor event which has been renamed the Sue Draper Portsmouth to remember a sadly missed Kestrel who organised the event before her death in 2020. This year’s event attracted 64 archers in three sessions, with some archers shooting double rounds.


There were successes for local Kestrels in the single round (60 arrows shot at a ten-zone target at 20 yards). Carl Tebbs won a bronze medal in the Compound Gentlemen's section with a score of 555, and in the Gentlemen's Longbow section, Mike Collins won a silver medal with a score of 354. Beds County junior longbow champion, Sidney Howard-Jude, won a gold medal for his 213. The barebows did not disappoint with Lord Paramount for the day, Dave Draper, collecting a bronze medal for his 456 in the Gentlemen section. Peter Jupp won the gold medal in the same discipline with a score of 499, and Mia Wilsher-Wright won a gold medal for her 272 in the Barebow Junior Ladies section.

In the double rounds (120 arrows), Collins received another silver medal for his 686 and Jupp another gold for his 988. In the Barebow Ladies section, Aimee McIntosh received a bronze medal for her 327.


Kestrels also featured in the Team Longbow with John Smith joining Collins to score a combined 656 and win gold medals.


The highest score of the day was 583, shot with a recurve bow by William Liversidge of Green Dragon Bowmen on his second round, closely followed by the recurves of Clophill’s Sarah Russell and Mayflower Archer Michael Judd with 580.


Clophill’s Mary Louca was the highest-scoring Barebow archer with a score of 530 winning her the new Sue Draper Trophy.




:: Kestrels York-Hereford-Bristols Tournament 8th May




Kestrels held its York-Hereford-Bristols Tournament at Stratton Upper School’s playing field on Sunday 8 May 2022.


This UK record status archery event had been cancelled two years in a row due to Covid restrictions and it was a relief for the club to welcome over 50 archers from 22 other clubs from afar as Derbyshire. Fortunately, it turned out to be a fine, warm day with a light but changeable breeze.


In the York Round (6 dozen arrows shot at 100 yards, 4 dozen at 80 yards, 2 dozen at 60 yards) there was a close battle in the Longbow Gentlemen discipline between Simon Clifton (scoring 318 for Sutton Bowmen) and Roger Spellane (315 for Aquarius). 


In the Hereford Round (6 doz. at 80 yds., 4 doz. at 60 yds., 2 doz. at 50 yds.), Lydia Sinnett-Smith produced the highest score of the day shooting with a compound bow (1238). Also in the Hereford Round, there were successes for local archers with gold medals for the Team Barebow duo of Steve Hughes (629) and Lord Paramount for the day Simon Kennedy (646). In the Ladies Barebow discipline, Kestrel Jacqueline Hunt won a gold medal for an outstanding 880, 255 points ahead of the silver medal placed Deborah Hill from Bowmen of Rutland.


In the junior section, there were further successes for new additions to the Kestrels nest. Nicole Henniker won a gold medal for her score of 842 shooting a barebow in the Bristol IV Round (6 doz. at 40 yds., 4 doz. at 30 yds., 2 doz. at 20 yds.). Nicole’s 842, her first effort in an open tournament, was also her first Junior Master Bowman score. Keeping her company, the youngest archer on the field, Kestrel Mia Wilsher-Wright also gained a gold medal, hopefully the first of many to come, for a score of 494 with a barebow in the Bristol V Round (6 doz. at 30 yds., 4 doz. at 20 yds., 2 doz. at 10 yds.).


Full results


:: Kestrels Have-A-Go Saturday 14th May



Fancy having a go at Archery? As part of Start Archery Week, Kestrels are opening up their field to allow members of the public to have a go at archery. 


The location is on our field in Biggleswade (on Furzenhall Road)

Please note there is limited parking


Ages: 10+.  Under 18s must be supervised by a responsible adult


Time: 11:00 - 17:00


More information: https://startarchery.co.uk


:: Sue Draper



I will finally be interring my wife's ashes in the cemetery of St John the Baptist Church in Piddington, Northants on the afternoon of Saturday 4th Sept.


It will be a purely informal affair and anyone is most welcome to attend. There will be sticky buns and coffee after at Hackleton village hall - a 10-minute walk away.


Please contact me at d.draper6@tiscali.co.uk if you would like to come and say goodbye to my lovely girl.


Dave Draper



:: 2021 Kestrels Double National Tournament 


We are pleased to announce that this year's Kestrels Double National Tournament will take place on Sunday 12th September 2021 at Stratton School Playing Field in Biggleswade (postcode SG18 8JB).


Hopefully, there will not be any covid-related restrictions on archery tournaments in the next few months. However, we will ensure that every effort is made to make this tournament as safe as possible. In this regard there will be some changes in the way the tournament is run; archers will be farther apart, left and right-handed archers will be separated, there may not be a raffle (to avoid handling cash), there may not be a leader board until lunchtime, and awards will be given with minimum interaction.


We look forward to receiving your entry for Sunday, September 12th in due course (the closing date is 28th August).


There will NOT be a jumbo entry form in the shed this year. If you wish to pay on the day you will have to bring a cheque or have the correct cash in an open envelope.


Best wishes for a safe return to shooting in the competition after what has been a worrying time.


:: 15th June 2020 : Kestrels Archery Club news


Like so many sports, archery has suffered from the effects of COVID-19 and the lockdown. Government restrictions were introduced just as the indoor season was coming to an end, robbing Kestrels Archery Club of their indoor championship. All archery in the UK was soon stopped by our governing body, Archery GB. The transition to the outdoor season was similarly affected and Kestrels, eager to shoot at the longer distances unavailable indoors, had to hang up their bows. 


As restrictions on certain sports slowly lifted, plans to resume shooting were hatched. On Monday (June 15), Kestrels began shooting again after carefully rethinking how they operate in this post-lockdown era. Safety remains the priority in archery and Kestrels have redesigned their target stands to be portable with the minimum amount of handling by a single archer. Archers can no longer shoot in proximity to others, targets are now 5 metres apart, and archers are assigned their own shooting lane. Archers bring their own paper targets and pins to attach to the bosses to avoid unnecessary contact. Kestrels also have a booking system that limits how many archers can be shooting in any 2-hour period. 


The club’s regular open tournament in May was cancelled. A similar fate was met by an invitation shoot in June to celebrate the club’s 40th anniversary and the club’s open competition in September, which would have hosted the Bedfordshire County Championships, is unlikely to proceed. Despite all these disappointments and having to comply with new restrictions and safety measures, Kestrels are hoping to run a beginners’ course at some stage in the summer and be able to share the joy of archery to the growing population of Biggleswade and beyond.


If you would like further information, please contact Kestrels Chairman, Martin Gascoigne, on 07920 080914.



:: 2020 Beginners Course


Location: Furzenhall Road, Biggleswade, Central Bedfordshire


In line with government guidelines regarding COVID-19 social distancing, our Beginners Course is currently postponed. We do hope that we can run a course later this year. 


If you are interested in taking up Archery and would like us to get in touch once we can resume courses, please contact our Chairman at chairman@kestrelsarchery.org so details can be sent to you as soon as they are available.



Spring 2019 - The Outdoor Season is Upon Us!


Yes, it's here! What a great start to the season with a great combined effort to extend our HQ at Furzenhall Road. Having acquired the shed next door, we now have room to spread out and store our equipment! We also now have new distance markers on the field and it is looking great for the new season. Lets all make the most of our great facilities on club nights. Hope you all have a great season!