As told at the Inaugural Tassel Award Scheme Champs in 2021, by Ray Chaplin
Firstly, I would like to thank Andrew for his Invitation to be the Honoured Guest at this inaugural event.
I’d like to do a short resume on the progress of the Tassel Award Scheme and offer some thanks to people who have help in the development of Clout and the scheme into the successful entity that it is today.
In the late 1980s and early 90s there was little promotion for Imperial rounds, be it Target or Clout. At that time, I was shooting a lot of Target archery and being from York I was keen to raise the profile of the York/Hereford/Bristol rounds, so I wrote the Rose Award Scheme. This proved very successful both in the number of tournaments taking place and the number of Rose Award Badges being awarded.
I then got more into Clout and saw the same lack of events, promotion, and low participation levels. There were barely a dozen tournaments per year with participation of 30 – 40 archers. Finding out where the tournaments were being held was difficult, but they seemed to be mostly in the north of the UK.
Having seen how successful the Rose Award Scheme had become, I adapted that concept to create the Tassel Award Scheme for Clout. The late Ted Mallet was the YAA, NCAS and GNAS Clout Representative. It was protocol at the time for such proposals to go thorough County, Regional and then National Committees before they could be adopted. Ted proposed the Tassel Award Scheme to all these bodies, receiving approval from YAA, then NCAS, but GNAS did not offer its support. Luckily for us archers NCAS came on board wholeheartedly and backed the project which started in 1996.
Initially the scheme was used in the NCAS area but gathered momentum under Ted’s administration and eventually went national, so when Andrew took over in 2004 the number of tournaments had grown into the early twenties.
By 2008 WA Metric Clouts had become popular, so Andrew embraced them into the scheme, with 7 tournaments in the initial year.
We are now in a position, Pre- Pandemic numbers, where we have annually 38 Imperial and 22 WA Metric events per year, each with typically up to 100 archers, so Andrew deserves all the plaudits available for his promotion and administration of the scheme.
Speaking of administration since the conception of the scheme there have been:
– 4448 Badges awarded for Imperial Tassel claims
– 2331 Badges awarded for the Metric Tassel claims
– 117 Metric Longbow 3 Clout Ends
– 134 Metric 6 Clout End badges
And these numbers are still going up as there have been a couple more tournaments since these figures were calculated.
There are a couple of other archers who also deserve praise.
Peter Gregory has been a long-standing advocate of clout and has assisted several clubs to set up their own clout tournaments, even donating trophies to them. Currently he is running 4 tournaments a year (ably assisted by Tracy, as he always reminds us)
And lastly to overcome the lack of information about where Clout Tournaments are being held, we now have a web page created by Ian Downham which is the “Go To” place to find an entry form or a results list for all the Tassel Clout tournaments. I would encourage every Tournament Organiser to engage with Ian to spread the word about their event.
So could you all please join me to show your appreciation and thanks to Ted, Andrew, Peter and Ian for all the Voluntary work they do which allows us to have so much pleasure shooting Clout.
Now there is one final award to make today. This is not a competitive award but is one which is well overdue. It is fitting today to present this award to someone who has done so much for Clout in the last two decades in:
• administering the Tassel Award Scheme
• Introduced the Classification Scheme
• Organised the National Clout Championships
• Organised the Northern Counties Clout Championships
• Collated the National Rankings
• And so much more
So, from the UK Clout Community in Recognition of his Outstanding Service to Clout Archery the award is presented to Andrew Neal.