Archery now available as prescribed health activity for doctors in France

24 June 2019
Noisy le Grand, France
Doctors across France have been prescribing physical activity to patients since March 2017.

Archery is now available for doctors across France to prescribe as a health activity and the French archery federation is facilitating its take-up by running courses for coaches and accredited wellbeing practitioners.

It is one of 22 recognised federations training volunteers and professionals for this specific practice – and has been doing so since November 2018. The first ‘Archery on Prescription’ module for coaches of level one or higher was held over two weekends in April and May 2019. Thirty people attended.

Those who pass the final exam are accredited to supervise prescribed archery sessions from September this year.

Prescription sport is a drug-free therapy for patients with long-term illnesses such as cancer, diabetes or respiratory failure. It is thought to improve general wellbeing.

“Sports can be done in prevention, but it can also bring benefits in healing,” said French federation president Jean-Michel Cleroy. “Health sport is trending and it would be a shame not to take part – or to be left behind.”

The prescription archery principle introduces sessions with increased cardiovascular activity, focus on specific movements to promote muscle growth – and holistic additions designed for certain groups of people. For instance, senior sessions for those aged 65 and above teach body awareness, balance, health maintenance and encourage participants to socialise.

As well as the ‘Archery on Prescription’ initiative, the French federation is currently part of the French Olympic Committee’s ‘Feel Yourself Sport’ programme – which is encouraging citizens from all works of life to practise physical activity.

Free events and conferences organised across the country are raising awareness among students, companies and public groups about the benefits of sports and a healthy lifestyle.