THE sport of archery leads young people down a path toward an unsporting gun culture.
That was the view expressed by Cr Keith Hughes at last week’s Bega Valley Shire Council meeting during discussions over Youth Week and Seniors Week grants.
The Bega Valley Traditional Archers was one of nine groups whose applications for a grant to assist with Seniors Week activities were recommended for approval by council staff.
They had also applied for an additional grant for Youth Week activities, one of five community organisations in the Bega Valley to do so.
Cr Hughes spoke out against including the archery group in both instances.
His view that it was not a suitable activity for seniors as they “are less likely to be able to pull the bow back” and are “more feeble” drew shocked looks and exclamations of disbelief from several of his fellow councillors.
Cr Hughes then held to his assertion during discussion over the groups recommended for Youth Week grants, saying “it is even more inappropriate for youth than seniors”.
“I think it’s the start of inculcation to gun culture,” he said.
“Although I accept the Traditional Archers are well meaning and there’s a place for that, there are also examples not far from here of the inappropriate use of bows and arrows, leading to what I think is the inappropriate use of firearms.
“I don’t think that is something ratepayers’ money should be subsidising.”
Cr Hughes was the only dissenting vote on the Seniors Week grants, while both he and Cr Sharon Tapscott voted against the motion to approve all five applications for Youth Week grants.
Those receiving money for Seniors Week activities include the Bega Valley Traditional Archers, Imlay District Nursing Home, U3A Sapphire Coast ($500 each); Men’s Shed Merimbula ($145); Bermagui Senior Citizens Welfare Club ($320); Sapphire Coast Book Club ($200); Eden Community Access Centre ($375); Eden Men’s Shed ($350); and the Bega Senior Citizens Club ($420).
Youth Week grant recipients, who will each receive a $1000 grant, include Spiral Gallery, Auswide Projects, Candelo Arts Society, Theatre Onset and the Traditional Archers.