A squad of Ballyvally archers will be off to the English Field Archery Championships next month.
The local club has a long tradition of organising trips for club members going back to the 1990s.
Those have helped their stars gain the top level experience which has helped 14 of them to go on to shoot at international level for the Republic of Ireland or the UK in the past few years.
Previous trips have gone off to events such as the Scottish Championships, to Wales and to various venues across England such as York and Overton, outside London. The club even went to the Norwegian Champs outside Oslo one year.
The venue for the upcoming English Championships will be Kendal in Cumbria. The Kendal organisers have repaired the damage to the course caused by the floods earlier in the year and everything is ready to go on their side.
There will be approximately 40 archers in the Ballyvally group and arrangements are well advanced for the expedition.
Four days have also been set aside at Easter for extra training and practice at the longer distances. The experience will also help the local archers to shoot in the British Open which is being hosted by Ballyvally in June.
The final tournament at Castlewellan Forest will take place this weekend (5-6 March).
It is quite steep in places and is one of the five premier course in the UK. The others are in England and Wales.
Almost 90 archers shot the course two weeks ago and a big turnout is expected for the last shoot at this venue in 2016.
Entries are already coming in from Southern archers and another big turnout is expected. Hopefully they will get to shoot in drier weather this time, although all Ballyvally’s Under 10 cubs successfully got around the course a few weeks ago, including one five year old, and came in with good scores.
Some of them can’t wait to do it all again!