Members of Pattaya Archery Club collected and recently presented a total of 25,000 baht to representatives of the local Child Protection and Development Center (CPDC). All 30 members of the archery club contributed to this gift, as did some retired members.
A cheque for the total amount was presented by the archery club’s Treasurer, Allan Jones, on behalf of the club, to Khun Toy, the CPDC’s Director. She was accompanied by Scheree Wilkie, a volunteer helper, and a number of the CPDC’s children
Allan Jones (center-right) presents a cheque for 25,000 baht to Khun Toy of the CPDC.
Allan was a key player in the club’s collection of this money and, helped by club member Gilbert Pelissier, organised everything to make this presentation.
Set against the backdrop of “The Great Wall of Pattaya” the presentation ceremony was held in the club’s range. This is part of the facilities provided by the Pattaya Shooting & Adventure Park in Hua Yai. A number of archers were present as well as some of the children supported by the CPDC
Holding a bow for the first time.
The project of a Child Protection and Development Center was started by the Human Help Network Foundation which has three projects, two in South Africa and one in Thailand.
The concept of the CPDC is a holistic one and consists of several parts all contributing to an effective help for children and fight against human trafficking, sexual abuse and especially child prostitution. The CPDC is located at some distance from the town of Pattaya; this helps to insulate the children from the dangers that they are exposed to on the streets.
The seven acre site is in a semi-rural area, allowing the children more room to escape from pressures and be at ease. The project currently consists of six residential houses, each housing eight children and a supervisor; a site office; a nursery; and some farm land, including a newly built mushroom farm and aquaculture facilities. Just completed are the shower block, the dining sala, the education center (including classrooms and a library) and a basketball court.
The number of children permanently living in the center currently varies between 35 and 45. Many of them have faced abuse, humiliation or extreme poverty before coming to live at the center.
The children attend public schools in the surrounding area. To support the children’s development, the education center is available to offer remedial classes, vocational training and support with homework.
A further part of the CPDC’s facilities is the nursing unit, which offers medical treatment for the children living at the center and also for children from poor families, who cannot afford proper healthcare for their children. A nurse is available to help in case of emergencies.
After the cheque was presented, some children from the CPDC were invited to have-a-go at archery and several intrepid volunteers were found.
Several club members joined Eric Hearn, the club’s coach, in helping the children understand the basics of archery, and good fun was had by all – even if most arrows went into the grass and not the targets!
For many years the archery range at the Pattaya Shooting and Adventure Park had a wall and straw bales at the end of the range, to stop arrows escaping from the range. This wall was three metres high and limited the range to a maximum distance of 50 metres.
As the archery skills of the club’s members improved, it eventually became apparent that if the range could be extended to 70 metres, this would be a much greater challenge, especially as it was the distance of the Olympic archery competitions.
The management of the shooting park were approached and kindly agreed to build an extension to the range, extending it to 70 metres. This necessitated the removal of the 50 metre end-wall, also a concrete floor of 21 metres by 4 metres, and a very large tree. This was a major project and took several months to complete.
Behind the new 70 metre end-wall is a stable for the park’s horses and a work area for the park’s staff. Naturally any escaping arrows would be extremely dangerous for those behind the wall, and so the end-wall was built up to a height of about six metres, with several rows of straw bales half-way up the wall, ready to stop any stray arrows flying really high.
To stop low-flying arrows, the archery club bought some professional archery backstop netting, which took four people several hours just to erect it.
The horses and workers are safe 6 and 70 metre Olympic-style archery competitions in Pattaya are now very popular with club members.
Archery coaching for the children.
Pattaya Archery Club shoots on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, beginning at 10.00 am and finishing at about noon or thereafter. Anyone % Thai or farang, young or old, man or woman % is welcome to come along to the Pattaya Shooting Park in Hua Yai and find out what it is all about. Beginners’ coaching is held on a Tuesday and / or a Saturday. The coach’s services and the use of the club’s bows, arrows and other equipment are free for beginners, and so it costs nothing to see if this challenging sport is for you.
For more details visit Pattaya Archery Club’s website at www.pattayaarcheryclub.com, or telephone Eric, the club’s President, on 089 535 1193