4MAT Away Day: Merry Men Archery

On Friday 4th September 2015, the entire 4MAT team from London went on an action packed away day to Merry Men Archery in East Sussex. Luckily there was not a single grey cloud in sight, as our infamous British Summer drew to a close and welcomed the autumnal notes of September.

This year, 4MAT’s annual summer party saw the team being treated to a day out in the countryside; rustic style!

The day got off to a slightly scatty start, following a small mix up over our meeting point (there were three!). Regardless, the team made it and we began our train journey to what – honestly – felt like the middle of nowhere. All we knew was that we were a long way away from London, and any signs of city life, when most of us had no signal on our phones!

We were booked in for a day of archery and shooting in the middle of a forest nestled between Hundred Acre Wood and the Ashdown forest in the scenic setting of Crowborough. It was a wonderful change from what we’re used to!

We were split into four teams, with two teams each being taken off for a morning of archery or shooting and swapping activities in the afternoon. But this wasn’t your average day-out-in-the-countryside-lark! We sampled some mead, were treated to a BBQ buffet-style lunch, toasted ourselves over an open fire and were lucky enough to have two instructors with seriously impressive backgrounds to school us in the art of archery and shooting.

Our archery instructor for the day was Phillip van Burren; a former archer for Team GB with 44 years’ of experience and the current national squad coach for the archery performance unit for Team GB. The shooting instructor was Garry Janes; a trained sniper and national Small Rifle Association Coach with climbing, mountaineering, survival and remote medical skills. He was basically Bear Grylls but with extensive gun knowledge and training.

Here at 4MAT, we like to kick back and have fun, but we also enjoy a bit of healthy competition! At the end of the day, there were prizes for the overall winning team as well as medals, cups and some champers for individuals with the highest scores per activity. Naturally, it was taken seriously as we lined up to learn how to fire air rifles, pistols and have a go with a sniper, as well as, channelling our inner Robin Hoods at the archery range. Some of our team members had a natural flair for archery and/or shooting – so much so that they were contemplating it as a second career or taking it up both as a hobby!

The winning team was none other than our MD’s, James Saunders, with our Account Manager Tom Ross pocketing a couple of medals and cups for scoring more points than anyone else on the day in both activities.

It was a fun, interactive and memorable day full of laughs and a bit of friendly rivalry! From everyone at 4MAT, we’d like to thank our amazing office manager, Ulla, for organising a fantastic away day and a special thanks to Fay for keeping us all on track during the day!