The World Field Archery Championships are being held in South Wales next week. (Actually, one version of the World Championships: there are 2 international governing bodies that each stage World Championships. The one I'm on about is the FITA version. The IFAA version was in Namibia earlier in the year.) They are taking place at 3 venues - Ynysangharad Park in Pontypridd, the Welsh Folk Museum at St Fagan's, and our local club. The preliminary and elimination rounds will be shot at the club, and the individual and team finals at St Fagan's. This means that we are hosting most of the shooting, so we've been laying out 3 separate 24-target courses.
I've never been part of the work party for a shoot before, just turned up and shot, but I thought I ought to volunteer this time. A group of us have been helping the course designers to set the courses out all this week, and I've got the blisters to prove it. It's been fascinating seeing things from the 'other side', but the biggest revelation is how much work is involved in clearing paths, making steps, hammering stakes, moving and erecting target bosses, clearing overhangs, etc., and how much organising it all takes. And we're not done yet. Even when it's all ready, there'll be work to do all week keeping things running smoothly. The sheer logistics of getting all the archers round their respective courses in good time will be formidable.
Granted that hosting a championship for some 250 archers from 28 countries using 3 separate courses is a bigger challenge than usual, I can see now that each and every one of the tournaments I've shot at in the last 4 years will have taken a huge amount of work to stage. I'll not take it for granted in future!