Whitburn Archers was established sixteen years ago out of a joint love of the sport by family members Ken and Jan Thornton, their son Jared and their friends Barry and Paul Cutting.
Jan Thornton said, "We are very much a family friendly club. Archery is not restrictive to any particular age or ability level. It is a very skilful sport, but anyone can pick it up and give it a go with the right coach."
The club has always worked hard to bring archery to a wide audience. Coaching sessions start with the under-8s Fletchlings Club (which uses suction arrows). At the other end of the age spectrum, the club's oldest member is in his 70s. They also regularly run have-a-go sessions for various community groups including South Tyneside Veterans Association and other charities.
In fact, the club is one of the only two clubs in the North East which is accredited as an Archery GB On Target club with community specialism, which means they are recognised for giving the local community easy access to the sport.
But it isn't just the community and social side of the sport that the club focuses on, members of the club have held several national and world records in various categories and they still compete successfully in county and national competitions. Head coach Abby Thornton has also represented England in International Finals.
Talking about the club's recipe for success, Ken Thornton said. "We have number of dedicated Level 1 and Level 2 coaches. They are very experienced at training different age groups and ability levels. We're also a very social bunch which gives the club a welcoming, family friendly atmosphere."
For more information about the club, visit their website at: www.whitburnarchers.co.uk