There can be little argument that many of the current membership at GA owe their basic grounding in the sport of archery to David Hutton.
Often seen herding beginners up to the shooting line, Dave was qualified to County Coach level but has now retired from active coaching. What is less well known is that Wee Dave, as he is affectionately known, was at one time Scottish indoor champion and record holder in Compound Limited.
In addition he was a member of the National Council Executive responsible for reorganizing the SAA from its original, somewhat antiquated format to a more efficient, public liability company.
In between critiquing my shot cycle, we had a chat…
Dave, how long have you been involved in archery?
Since about 1986.
Why did you take it up?
It was originally suggested that I get myself a hobbit hobby rather than sit in front of the telly when I came home from work. Saw an ad in the local paper for Glasgow Archers, and the rest is, as they say, history.
As a county coach you require to be proficient in all archery styles so that’s …?
Compound, Recurve (although don’t actually have a competition bow at present), and Traditional … Horse bow and Longbow.
Which style of archery is your favourite?
At present shooting with the Horse bow gives the most satisfaction, closely followed by the longbow. Simples!
Dave has been a feature of mentoring and coaching at GA now for 2 decades. What takes a competitive archer and steers him down the route of coaching?
When and why did you become a coach?
Started coaching round about 2001. Being involved running beginners courses, I thought it was about time I got some qualifications behind me. Didn’t realise where it would lead to.
Does teaching beginner courses and the basics ever get old?
No! It’s always a good idea to remember, we were all beginners at one time and archery is basically a simple sport which we tend to make complicated.
With the AGB onTarget scheme looking to encourage specialist ‘performance’ clubs, would you like to coach those archers looking to become top flight?
If we have archers who wish to put in the time and effort, I would be only too happy to coach them.
Would you recommend becoming a coach?
Coaching is not for everyone. By the time I started coaching I’d probably achieved most of my (serious) competitive ambitions. I still like to win, but being a coach means that your ambitions sometimes come second to those you coach.
With Dave having been proactive as a competitor, a coach and on a national advisory/guidance level, what sticks in his mind as the high and low points of his career to date.
So what’s been your greatest/favourite moment in archery/coaching?
This is a toughie! Every time you see a smile of achievement on a newbie. Being invited to help coach the National Squad. Seeing one of ‘my’ archers take their next step. Taking part in my first ever competition (I felt like a dog with two tails for days afterwards). Winning a National medal. Helping as a volunteer at the World Cup Final in Edinburgh, chatting with some of the top archers, asking Italian International recurver Michele Frangilli … “Excuse me Mr Frangilli, can I see your ID?” Fantastic weekend!
Conversely your least favourite moment?
Rain soaked Egertec straw bosses. Getting stuck in the mud. Jumping through hoops to progress in coaching (things can get subjective, down to personal likes, dislikes).
And finally worst injury in archery?
Only real injury related to using an exerset training device. The Exerset entails bolting on a tube (sealed at the end) to your bow. An arrow with a blunt can then be shot down the tube, giving you a live shot, but the arrow doesn’t leave the tube. This was working well until a clicker part of the device came loose, spun round and embedded itself into my bow hand. Painful! Surprisingly not too much damage. It was a painful reminder to always check equipment before using!
So as Dave approaches 3 and a half decades of archery, just where does he see himself in relation to the sport – past and present.
Has there ever been a time when you had had enough of archery?
Yes. A number of years back. Except for a very few, there was a large number of members who didn’t want to put any effort into doing anything for the club. You know the scenario, apathy rules! That was a low point and I really thought ’Why bother’. I’m glad I persevered
Had you not taken up archery, is there any particular sport you would have liked to have taken up?
Hadn’t thought about this, I suppose it probably would have been rifle shooting or some other target sport. Does darts count as a sport?
Finally … any future Archery goals?
To be better at what I am doing. To try and encourage anyone who will listen. Shoot that perfect arrow. Have fun!