Shoot to the Moon: Mission Accomplished

We had blast off, we landed and we returned

Dear Lovely Archers, Astronauts, Mission Control, Helpers and Families.

Shoot to the moon archers on the line - by Dave Tonnison Photo: Dave Tonnison

Wymondham Archers had a wonderful day last Saturday 2nd July 2022. Not only did we meet our target of getting to the moon we managed to return all of our awesome astronauts safely back to earth. In a bit we'll talk over some of the statistics of the day but before we do that, let us update you as to why we do this.

In 2019 the Wymondham Archers Committee who, like you our Archers, are enormously grateful for the space we have at Wymondham Rugby Football Club, had the notion to use our superb facilities in support of other people who may be going through difficult times. We put together the concept of our entire Club, and possibly other Clubs doing something together, as a team. Team and Archer don't seem comfortable together but Team we made, when back in 2019, 30 Archers Shot to the Moon. It's a long way to the moon, so we calculate each of the 384,403 Kilometres as Metres; no small effort. Back in 2019 the shoot took a very long day, with difficult weather and some very tired Archers by the time they landed; but we managed to get there by 5pm in the evening. Back then we raised £1,000 for Nelson's Journey.

Our story can be found on the Just Giving Page set up by this years Shoot to the Moon organiser Alex Tonnison.

Wymondham Archers is raising money for Nelson's Journey in their 2nd Shoot to the Moon event. On Saturday 2nd July 2022 we will be shooting as many arrows as far as possible in order to achieve a combined total distance of 384,400m (with 1m being equivalent to 1km, this being the distance from the Earth to the Moon). In 2019 a hardy group of about 30 archers battled all day to reach this astronomical goal! Since 1997, Nelson’s Journey has been supporting children and young people up to the age of 18 in Norfolk with their bereavement needs, helping them to understand and cope with their feelings after the death of a significant person in their life. Nelson’s Journey’s vision is that every bereaved child in Norfolk will look forward to a positive future, empowered to reach their full potential.

With the impact of Covid and other life events the work of Nelson's Journey has come home to Wymondham Archers. Wymondham Archers says a big thank you to all those Archers, their families, friends, relatives, work colleagues and associates that have been part of this years efforts. As editor of this brief update, I'd also like to thank Alex Tonnison for his mammoth effort in getting us all off the ground.

This year, we had just under 100 opportunities to Shoot to the Moon being taken up by our budding pilots. Between them a staggering £1,400+ of donations have been received; with still more promised. Should you wish to, you can still chip in any time by visiting the Shoot to the Moon JustGiving page.

Archers attendance
Statistical Datatable - Pete Hill

Our Archers (nicknamed the Launch Team), took part in their droves, arriving in their land vehicles up to an hour early at 9.00am for the first crew to take off at 10.00am. After briefings, mostly about what time lunch will be and who will have what, oh and a safety briefing; we soon got to work. The second crew arrived from 12.00pm, joining the first at a lunchtime juncture. Our final team arrived from around 2.00pm - making up the tail-end-charlie; bringing us home safely. There was a significant cohort that shot every single orbit. I take my hat off (which is a rare thing) to any of those Archers that did all day - an epic effort.

The Launch Team, had gravity stacked against them but amongst the astronauts we had 11 enthusiastic junior Archers willing to give their all to get us there. We thank all our Junior Archers for their effort. I'm not sure you'd be willing to tidy your rooms as eagerly as you were to see just how far your bows could shoot an arrow (it seems to the moon and back). It was a wonderful sight as we set our arrows free, watching them disappear into space. Juniors didn't do it by themselves though. Every section of our Fantastic Archery Club was represented. Wymondham Archers are so very proud of the effort and enthusiasm that you all have put in. 20% of the Archers were made up of our Female Club members. Our youngest astronaut was only 8 years old, who dragged himself away from his hi-tech virtual world to take part in the real. Our oldest astronaut was 82, who Shot to the Moon in a bamboo rocket, powered from the fumes of melted iPads (much to the distress of the Millenials).

Shoot to the moon volley shot - by Dave Tonnison Photo: Dave Tonnison

Moon statistics
Dataset - Dan Parnham

Walking statistics
Statistical Datatable - Pete Hill

Our bodies were tired, (wrecked in my case - from the burnout of re-entry and the reality that I am a man of a certain age, who hasn't quite faced up to it yet). We collected our statistics from Mission Control and paste them below for all the geeks amongst you who love a good stat.

If you know roughly how far you shot on each end you can now calculate how far you walked also. Remember that each end you shot an arrow into orbit, is there and back in terms of you walking.

Once it was all over we realised just how hard we had worked, we took a second to point to the stars and send a grateful cheer to the moon. We are so very pleased to have helped Nelson's Journey with the support they need to help youngsters in Norfolk and beyond at a time when they need help the most.

Shoot to the moon group photo - by Lucille Reed
Photo - Lucille Reed

We are already planning another team effort for next year when we would love to see you back with us. Please encourage others, when you see them on the Archery Range. From the perspective of just one of the Archers of the day, it was most beguiling to watch our arrows fly off into the distance. I was also touched to hear your positive feedback about the event, how well it was organised, how fantastic lunch was, as well as the social connection with so many of our Club Members.

On a final note, one Archer caught up with me after the event, tapping me on the elbow, when she said, "I wouldn't have believed that just shooting my bow as far as I could would be so much fun." So, we had a heap of fun as well. How lovely is that.

Thank you for supporting Nelson's Journey with us, we are truly grateful.

Pete: Chair - Wymondham Archers

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