Community support "huge" for new Port Stephens Archers - a 3D archery club

TEAM: Zachary Shorten, Steven "Skippy" Shorten, Karen Richards and Steven "Richo" Richards with (front) Madison Shorten, Morgan Richards and Abigael Richards.
TEAM: Zachary Shorten, Steven "Skippy" Shorten, Karen Richards and Steven "Richo" Richards with (front) Madison Shorten, Morgan Richards and Abigael Richards.

The community's "huge" show of support for the newly established Port Stephens Archers, even before the first arrow has been shot, has only reaffirmed Steven "Skippy" Shorten and Steven "Richo" Richards ' resolve in founding the club.

Shorten and Richards, who have 30 and 20 years experience in the field respectively, said Port Stephens Archers already had 20 paid members and would begin club activities once it has secured an indoor and outdoor space, which it is "on the brink of".

"We've had a huge outpouring of support from the Port Stephens community, specifically in Medowie," Richards said.

Steven "Skippy" Shorten and Steven "Richo" Richards have founded Port Stephens Archers.

Steven "Skippy" Shorten and Steven "Richo" Richards have founded Port Stephens Archers.

Port Stephens Archers is a 3D archery club.

The targets are rubber animals, not round targets.

Shorten, a past national title winner and record holder, said while 3D archery was like simulated hunting, Port Stephens Archers is "not a hunting club".

"3D is one of the fastest growing types of archery," he said.

"It's a lot more fun than just shooting a round target, and harder."

Shorten, who likes to use a compound bow, said he was "born into archery".

His father started the committee that would eventually found the 3D Archery Association of Australia, which is the national governing body of 3D archery.

Richards, who prefers to use a traditional bow, found archery as a 13 year old.

While he gave it up for many years, he found his way back to the sport.

"It's a relaxing hobby," he said.

Shorten and Richards met through archery and but also served in the Australian Defence Force together.

Shorten was medically discharged in 2016. Richards is still with the RAAF.

Sharing their love for archery with others was one of the reasons why they founded the club as well as giving adults and children in the area a new sport to pursue.

Previously, if a Port resident wished to pursue archery they had to travel to Maitland or Newcastle.

Port Stephens Archers is a family friendly club, Shorten said.

"We have a rel family focus," he said. "We encourage children to shoot alongside their parents.

"Richo and I have four kids between us and they all shoot. They love it.

"It is a good safe sport. There are a lot of regulations that we have to abide by that make it safe.

"The course setters also have to be qualified.

"Archery is a good sport for kids to focus on. It's non-contact and you don't have to be super fit to do it."

Richards said archery instilled qualities of self-discipline and responsibility.

"There's also a real sense of achievement when you hit the target," he said.

More information and updates on Port Stephens Archers can be found on Facebook.

The club is taking registrations.

For more information or to register phone Shorten on 0431 230 067 or Richards on 0400 366 542.

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