No shot is hard to make, it’s just easier to miss

Image Credit: World Archery

Thinking of trying something new? A new hobby? Ever thought of Archery?

I’m an experienced archer who has been shooting for just over two years now. Starting out was scary and fun at the same time. Learning a new sport can always be challenging but rewarding once the skill has been learnt. But don’t just take my word for it…

Netflix released a documentary called, Ladies First (2018). An inspirational survival story of Deepika Kumari. As a girl born on the roadside to abject poverty in rural India and with limited women’s rights, she went in search for food, and stumbled upon archery. Within 4 years she had became the Number One archer in the world at the age of only 18, and represented India at two Olympics.

There are many benefits to choosing archery as your new sport and hobby. Anyone can join, whether male, female, fit or disabled it is a universal sport. With hundreds and thousands of practice arrow, serious dedication and natural talent, the potential is there for higher standard events at the Olympics or Paralympics if you wanted. There are both negatives and positives, much like most sports.


Image Credit: Jade Medley

One of the negatives to the sport is getting the annoyance to off days at practice, when the arrows don’t go where you want them to, but with practise that would soon change. The only other negative is that archery is a very expensive hobby, from buying you’re every first kit, to buying replacements when arrows break or get lost. A typical beginners kit into archery can cost anywhere from £500 or more.  The link below shows the various types you can buy and price ranges of these items


‘When I brought my bow two years ago it cost me a little over £700.  Since then I have still been buying all sorts of bells and whistles for my bow’ (Toby Moss, Experienced archer)

‘I got my first bow many years ago. I have changed many parts on the bow, so many that it’s not actually the same bow anymore.’ (Katie Lever, Experienced archer)

Grant Medley’s daughter took up the hobby of archery, he feels it’s a fantastic sport to get into, and it’s enjoyable to watch others compete. ‘I would join an archery club, but I can see that it is probably an expensive sport and hobby. I do believe it is something that I would really enjoy though.’ (Grant Medley, Father of an experienced archer)


Apart from the enjoyment you can gain form archery there are also many health benefits

‘It can improve your eye to hand coordination, it helps with patience and self-confidence.’ (Grant Medley) While drawing the bow does expend energy, so does the walking to and from the target on end to end when collecting arrows. It’s a very high sport in burning calories. The weight of the bow helps to build muscles and strength when drawing, in your back, arms, hands and the chest. Archers also learn to maintain focus when shooting, avoiding distractions such as, wind, distance, noise and other competitors when they are shooting simultaneously. This level of focus then heightens the archer’s coordination and patience. ‘Having the determination to precisely repeat a technique makes you a better archer and, consequently, a better person!’ (World Archery website)


In archery there are many categories you are able to enter into within competitions. They can split into male and female, or Junior, under 25’s, senior, novice, and experience categories. With these competitions there are also different bow types you can enter into as well; recurve, long bow, compound and cross bow. Though the recurve bows are the only bows the Olympics allows, the others are fun to use

‘I have tried both recurve and long bow. Long bow is very traditional and doesn’t allow for many alteration to be done to the bow itself. I much prefer the recurve as my shots are mostly on target.’ (Toby moss)

‘I once tired a friend’s compound bow. Wow, they are powerful, not sure I could keep up the same level shooting for every session. I can’t say I actually know anyone who has a cross bow, they just aren’t as fun as the others.’ (Katie Lever)


Image Credit: World Archery

Competitions maybe about getting the highest score to win the medal, but archery competitions are felt to be more relaxed. Staying calm helps archery keep up and maintain their accurate target scores. The competitions are ‘very busy, friendly and well organised’ (Grant Medley). Competitions are very social events, enabling ‘friendships between individuals from all walks of life. You never know who you’ll end up on a target with next’ (World Archery website)


‘Competitions are great. I remember the first time I ever went to one, I managed to shoot my arrows onto another archers target face, completely missing my own. I got a lovely 10 on their target, but it didn’t count as it was the incorrect target. One this in competitions is you need to learn to be slow in a hurry’ (Katie Lever)


Image Credit: ARU Archery


It’s always good fun even when you have been shooting as long as I have been, it’s always great to meet new people who are better than you, who give you pointers on becoming better and meeting other whom aren’t as good as you, you then giving advice on how they can improve.




Ladies First – (2018) Uraaz Bahl

World Archery website: (access date 24.04.2018)

Archery 360 website: (access date 24.04.2018)

Clickers website: (accessed 24.04.2018)

Rubik. Join The Club


Image Credit: Jade Medley


Tantalising and enchanting people for years. Ever wondered what it would be like to be someone who could solve this peculiar puzzle?

‘I have so many cubes it’s hard to keep count. I can solve every single one of them, not all at once though. My personal best on the standard three by three cube is 14.48 seconds. But my favourite Rubik is the Pyramix, which is also known as the triangle Rubik cube. My solve on this is only 24.07 seconds, but I have been able to shave a lot of time off it this week, so I am getting faster.’ (Jerry peters, average cuber, New York)

The Rubik’s Cube, the world’s best selling toy, was created in 1974 by Ernõ Rubik (1944 – ). He was a professor from Budapest in Hungary. Wanting to help his students understand three-dimensional problems he created The Rubik’s Cube.
The Rubik’s Cube is a puzzle that consists of a cube with six coloured faces made up of twenty-six smaller coloured blocks, that are attached to a Spindale in the centre of the cube. Each of the six faces is covered by nine stickers that consist of solid colours: white, red, blue, orange, green, and yellow. The goal of the cube is to rotate the sides and blocks until each of the faces are back to their six original single colours. Cuber’s memorise algorithms and sequences of moves in order to get the cube back to its solved state. However, on a normal 3x3x3 cube there are 43 252 003 274 489 856 000 combinations, or 43 quintillion. This number gets massively increased when the gets bigger. For example the 5x5x5 Rubik’s cube (otherwise known as the Professor’s Cube) has 282 870 942 277 741 856 536 180 333 107 150 328 293 127 731 985 672 134 721 536 000 000 000 000 000 combinations (aka 283 trevigintillion).
Once Ernõ Rubik had scrambled the cube, he found it difficult to solve it back to its original state. It was not until 1980 when a professor of Mathematics at London South Bank University, England, named David Singmaster (1939 – ) had created ‘Step by Step Solution of Rubik’s ”Magic Cube’. Publishing the first layer by layer method on solving the cube. In 1982 the first Rubik’s Cube Championship was started in Budapest, Hungary. With 19 competitors Minh Thai from the United States was the winner. After three attempts of speed solving he had the best time of 22.95 seconds.
Now the current world record hold for speed solving the 3x3x3 Rubik Cube is Patrick Ponce, from the United States (Middletown). On 2nd September 2017, at only fifteen-years-old, he took just 4.69 seconds to solve the cube at the Rally In The Valley competition in Middletown, Virginia, United States.
Since 1982 Cubing competitions have been a huge hit. In comparison to other hobby competitions cubing is a little different. Age is not a factor. In most other hobbies you may find that within the competitions, skills determine your ability to make friends while you are there. However with cubing competitions, people are more friendly.
‘It’s great, even if you can’t solve the cube in under a minute, we who can do it in under 30 or 20 seconds are more than happy to talk to you. Exchanging advice and certain algorithms to help you solve them faster. Adds more great people to the top speed cuber comps.’ (Jerry Peters, average cuber, New York)



Image credit: Jerry Peters


An experienced cuber who goes by the name of LC Cuber, is a huge fan of going to as many competitions as he can. The only negative about the competitions is that, ‘they can get so busy and so quickly. I find it hard to get a good competition speed solve when I cannot concentrate as much as I’d like, with all the background noise. Other than that it is a great experience to have.

LC Cuber also mentioned remembering seeing this individuals unlucky attempt at speed cubing. ‘The worst thing to happen at a competition is that your solve is going so well, then all of a sudden the cube pops. Pieces fly everywhere.

‘why not pick up a cube and give it ago, with the help of many YouTube videos I learned to solve the three by three in a week. After that, just keep practising and your solve time become faster. Just please don’t peel the stickers off, it’s much more satisfying to solve it, especially that first time.’  (LC Cuber, experience cuber)
‘It’s a great hobby to have. It keeps the mind sharp’. (Jerry peters, average cuber, New York)



Image credit: Jerry Peters

Image credit: Jade Medley (accessed 14.03.2018) (Accessed 14.03.2018) (Accessed 14.03.2018) (Accessed 14.03.2018)


Student Life Report

Image Credit: Jade Medley


It’s Okay Not To Be Okay

Mental health is a problem with students that effects 1 in 4 students who go to university around the UK.

University Students

Key issues that have been brought up by ARU students are;

  • Don’t always know about the support the University offer
  • Long waiting periods to be able to speak to a councillor
  • Don’t always cater to every students issues -mostly focuses on student stress

A recent survey I made, taken by University students shows how 2 people in every 3 students have not used the services the University provide.

I spoke to someone who has not used the service before, asking why? The response was because they “have never really heard about the service” until I mentioned about it to them. This made us think, maybe the service doesn’t advertise enough about the support they give.

One response in the survey read, “I wish I had known more about the university’s mental health help in my first year, with what they provided and how they could have helped me, so I could have got in contact sooner.”

A one-to-one interview with ARU Student Kate Lever gave more insight to how students feel about the services. When Kate first arrived at the University she used the well-being services, but as time went on she gradually stopped using them.

“I checked things out when I was in my undergrad.  I literally just started in January.  I have used quite a few of the services here, like student support and the counselling and stuff. I haven’t used it recently, but in my undergrad I did.” -Kate

When asking Kate whether she would use the Universities support again she said ” It’s a bit tricky, because universities are so big, and there are so many people and everybody has their own complex problems. That whenever I have gone to the support their practitioners tend to be not specialized in anything.”

However she proceeds to say ” But if you want to talk to people about your general university stress, then that is helpful.”


For some students, it’s very hard to know when you need help with your mental health and tackle the problems you could be facing. In Anglia Ruskin, there is a mental health service that you can talk to when you feel yourself getting low and needing someone to talk to. This service is called the ‘Counselling and Wellbeing Service’.

In the service, they tackle a wide range of mental health problems such as:

  • Depression
  • Self-esteem
  • Loneliness
  • Bereavement
  • Eating Disorders

The core hours for the service are 9:00 – 5:00 from Monday to Thursday and 9:00 – 4:30 on a Friday.

The service is available for one to one services and also in out-of-hour times. With the out-of-hour support, you can call the Cambridge or Chelmsford Samaritans (depending what ARU you are at), who have a 24-hour helpline that you can use to talk to a professional about the problems you may be facing with mental health.

With the one to one service, you can speak to a councillor with confidentiality, especially if you don’t like talking about your problems with a massive group.

With that being said, there are also workshops that you can go to with other people if you feel comfortable enough speaking about what you suffer from. These workshops have help for developing your confidence and self-esteem, settling-in to living on your own and anxiety and stress management.

Take a look at the website for further details


Written by: Jade Medley and Steven Wells

Image credit: Jade Medley

Source references:

My Survey

Interview with Kate

ARU Wellbeing service –

(Date accessed: 25.02.2018)