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It has been an awful long time since I wrote anything about archery but as my Crossbow has returned from being on loan to a friend I suppose it is about time I penned a few lines.

Readers may remember that I asked for dispensation to shoot with a “cocking aid”. This is a system which would allow me to shoot pain free. This request was refused out of hand by the Executive committee, despite my belief that I was being discriminated against. The Friendly Society I have belonged to for twenty years went to some expense to prove the legality of their stance, an expense I couldn’t meet to counter the argument. It was with regret that I took a step back and pretty much moved on.

Step forward a few months and I have been requested to demonstrate the offending cocking aid at my archery club. Most people don’t really understand the in’s and out’s of the mechanics. It appears that a motion has been proposed to amend the rules on cocking aids at the upcoming AGM for the society. This is a motion I have had no part in but were it passed by the members, I would be allowed to compete, on equal terms with able bodied archers. On the face of it, there is nothing wrong with amending the rules and the level playing field would remain however, I understand that the executive have threatened all sorts of reactions, from resigning to banning should the change occur. They have gone to great lengths in the magazine to emphatically destroy the motion, without embracing the all inclusive nature of the change. Every obstacle they identify could be easily solved IF they had the mindset to include instead of exclude.

This leaves me in a bit of a situation, without doubt I am the one person who would totally benefit from the rule change and yet the open hostility shown towards me, makes me wonder if I want to be part of such a hatefully managed society. Another side of me is overjoyed that something that has been such a large and happy part of my life may be availed to me again. I am unsure if the Society members would be happy with the Executive resigning over my problems but I would like them to be shown up for the bigots they are. At the moment I am deciding whether to attend the AGM or whether to allow the vote to decide if I am allowed to compete in my absence. My gut feeling is that it is going to be a whole lot harder for someone to say the disabled aren’t welcome to their faces.

Either way I am looking forward to plonking a few bolts out of the bow on the range on Saturday, it has been too long.

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