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HEALTH AND SAFETY ISSUES IN COACHING
Everyone has a “legal duty of care”. However, it is also understood and recognized that accidents can and do happen, and that it is not possible to predict every eventuality. Liability for the legal duty of care would only arise when an incident occurs and it can be demonstrated that the risk was foreseeable but no action had been taken to remedy it. (Archery GB’s Policy for Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults).
Consequently, when coaching, you must ensure that the rules of shooting are complied with and in addition that
a) the target is a reasonable distance from the archer so that an arrow rebounding from a boss does not injure the archer.
b) that archers when pulling arrows from a boss ensure that no one is standing immediately behind them.
This legal duty of care also requires the person who is coaching an archer to ensure:
a) that they are not over-bowed and as a result seriously damage muscles, tendons and ligaments (especially in the case of those whose bodies have not fully matured)
b) Enquire if the archer is under medication with their doctor, if so, then ensure that you have written confirmation that their doctor has given permission for them to participate in archery.
c) that archers have done warm-up exercises that adhere to the principle of slow and smooth repetitions of the neck, shoulder areas in particular and do not do repetitions fast and vigorously.
d) that archers do not use clingy bands or do stretching exercises until they have done the appropriate warm-up exercises.
e) that archers after purchasing their first bow or increasing their draw weight only steadily increase the number of shots during practice until their bodies have adjusted to this increased draw weight.
The above precautions are not excessive and are good practice to reduce the number of injuries that are likely to arise when physically exercising our bodies in the sport of archery.