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Looking like badasses at our throw down.

#throwlikeagirl and International Women’s Day

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International Women’s Day is the 8th of March and we thought that there is no better time than today to reflect on why #throwlikeagirl is important.

Gender inequality still exists around the world. At Whistle Punks we are working on combating this.

Our throw like a girl campaign is our attempt to change the stereotype of women being bad at throwing sports. We often get women coming into Whistle Punks that have never thrown anything and then they pick up an axe to discover they are a natural.

Here at Whistle Punks, we are loving the steady increase in females applying for jobs. Our London venue currently has 6 female instructors and in Birmingham, we have a female assistant venue manager.

Get to know a few of our female instructors and why they love sinking bulls-eyes?

Sarah with axes

Sarah – London

Other than axe throwing what other hobbies do you have?
Outside of axe throwing I’m a professional ballet dancer and choreographer, I’m also pursuing an MA in Dance Politics and Sociology, and I go trampolining every weekend.

What do you enjoy about axe throwing?
I love axe throwing because as an instructor, there is nothing more satisfying than when a customer sinks their first axe and you see their excitement. And when I throw, it’s nice to be good at something that is a little unexpected.

Do you have any advice for other people who want to become great at axe throwing?
Practice a lot and seek help from your fellow instructors. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for advice. We all started as beginners and we all have room to improve!

What sort of positive impact does axe throwing have?
Axe throwing is empowering. As I said, there’s nothing like the excitement of sinking your first axe and it’s really rewarding to see customers come in, sceptical of their own abilities, and watch them discover they can do something they never knew they could.

Andrea with an axe

Andrea – Manchester

Why did you apply to join Whistle Punks?
I began at Whistle Punks after leaving my job as a behaviour mentor in a high school to go to university to study Psychology and Counselling, and I needed a part-time job. I didn’t want a typical retail or bar job as I didn’t want my ex-pupils to see me and wonder what I was doing. I was looking for a job that was interesting and came across the advertisement for Whistle Punks. I applied, went to an interview, and here I am.

What do you enjoy about axe throwing?
I like the challenge of landing different throws. I love that me and the other girls the work for Whistle Punks are kind of beating the stereotype about axe throwing being a “man’s thing”. It’s great when someone comes in and is genuinely shocked and impressed that I can throw.

Other than axe throwing what other hobbies do you have?
I love Ice Hockey. I’m a huge Manchester Storm fan but I like Sheffield Steelers too which is frowned upon as they are rival teams. I would love to play but I’m not very good at ice skating and I don’t really have much time to practice at the minute. I play rugby and am the Chair of the Women’s Rugby Union at my university this year. I know it sounds a bit boring and generic but I really enjoy reading and listening to music. I mainly read Stephen King books but I’ll read most books really. I listen to all genres of music, I was brought up on The Beatles so I would probably say they are my favourite band.

Jesse looking like a boss crouching in a lane with an axe

30 second chat with Jesse – #throwlikeagirl

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“I was looking for a gun range to work at as I used to shoot at targets for fun. Axe throwing came up and there were jobs going and I was like ‘f**k yeah’. I stalked Whistle Punks on social media. On the Youtube channel I saw a video of one of the other instructors, Sarah, throwing and she was the same size and build as me and it made me think ‘I can do this’.

My first-time axe throwing I was terrible and because I was so bad I wanted to be really good. I worked at it and practised a lot and got better. Though even now I still learn from other instructors and I get to teach them new things, it’s a very collaborative environment.
Axe throwing is great because it’s an escape from university. It requires focus, so when I’m axe throwing, that’s all I’m thinking about. I’m quite a busy person so being able to focus on one thing and forget everything else is great.”

Looking like badasses at our throw down.

Axe throwing is empowering: the reasons our instructors enjoy axe throwing.

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As part of our ongoing #throwlikeagirl campaign, where we are trying to reclaim the term to show the world how awesome our instructors and axe throwers are, we spoke to some of Whistle Punks’ female instructors about what they enjoy most about axe throwing.

Yanthe (Vauxhall): Axe throwing is unique and really empowering. I know that I can win an axe-throwing match against someone twice my size. It doesn’t matter how big someone is because axe throwing isn’t about strength and size, it’s all about technique.

Andrea (Manchester): I like the challenge of landing different throws. I love that me and the other girls the work for Whistle Punks are beating the stereotype about axe throwing being a “man’s thing”. It’s great when someone comes in and is genuinely shocked and impressed that I can throw.

Elysia (Manchester): The satisfaction of hitting the board is great and I enjoy mastering new axe throwing techniques. I love that axe throwing is all about momentum and technique, and not power. We often get women come in who aren’t confident or think they’ll lose. I tell every single woman that comes in that it’s all about technique. And then when you see them succeed, it’s really satisfying.

Jesse (Vauxhall): I’m a big fan of using weapons in a controlled way. I like training and using them appropriately and of course, throwing axes at targets. I used to train and compete with HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) and my preferred weapon was the longsword.

Sarah (Vauxhall): As an instructor, there is nothing more satisfying than when a customer sinks their first axe and you see their excitement.  As a thrower, it’s nice to be good at something that is a little unexpected.

We think aside from being awesome, they are all highly skilled and passionate about axe throwing, they are the reason that we encourage people to throw like a girl.

Next time we’ll be talking about why some people who come axe throwing aren’t confident and the ways that our instructors help them get their swagger.

Jesse, throwing an axe down lane.

#throwlikeagirl

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Ok, we know what you’re thinking. At Whistle Punks we are aware of the general stereotype of an axe thrower.

When people hear axe thrower they tend to think of flannel shirts and beanies, hipsters with man buns and beards and beer. The biggest generalisation about axe throwers that we hear is that all axe throwers are male.

The axe throwing industry is male-dominated but there are kick-ass women who are smashing it in axe throwing. We are also trying to get more women interested in the sport of axe throwing and change the perception of axe throwers to encompass all of the awesome and diverse instructors and customers at Whistle Punks.

We believe that axe throwing should be open to all people, regardless of age, ability, gender or any other dividing factor. And we want all people to feel welcome.

Over the next few months, we are celebrating our female staff with our new campaign #throwlikeagirl.
The campaign will showcase our female instructor’s incredible skills, we will chat with them about what they enjoy about axe throwing and much more. They will be showing that axe throwing is open to all.

League community

What are the Whistle Punks league players like?

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A while ago we interviewed a few of our league players and one of the questions we asked them was ‘What were the other league members like?’

Here are their answers:

Baz:

There is a lot of support and encouragement between the league members. There are always people cheering you on when you’re competing or if you land a difficult trick-shot or manage to accurately smash a seven-pointer again and again. It’s great having that comradery, and a sense of belonging. Everyone is included in this WhatsApp group we have, and we keep in touch regularly and plan events away from axe-throwing too. The staff are always really helpful too. Some days you might come in and the axes just aren’t falling right, but they will always make sure you start nailing bullseyes after a bit.

Matt:

We’ve all bonded through a mutual love of axe-throwing. It’s a unique sport because there are lots of different personalities from varied backgrounds, and we spend one evening a week competing, catching up and having fun. It’s great. It feels like an alternatively popular sport, and that’s why it attracts so many people.

Lauren:

We think it’s brilliant because it attracts so many different types of people. I used to take part in roller derby as a sport and that was similar too. There are members from various walks of life, all friendly, but all share a similar craziness in a way that brings us together through axe throwing.

Ian:

There’s a real mix of people. There are teachers, university researchers, some who are part way through PhDs, tattoo artists, chemists and so on. It attracts a varied following, and everyone feels welcome to come and join in. There’s even a Whatsapp group we use to keep in touch with one another and plan activities together outside of axe-throwing.

Another thing they all said when we asked them what they would tell people who are considering joining the axe throwing league is to just do it. You won’t regret it.

Whistle Punks venue

Bristol, Whistle Punks is coming!

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Whistle Punks is coming to Bristol.

This year Whistle Punks is set to open it’s fourth and biggest venue (so far). With six lanes, a bar and a pizza oven, this will be our most ambitious venue yet.

The Whistle Punks flagship will hopefully be moving into the former nightclub Panache that closed down in 2011. The final details on the All Saints Street venue are currently being struck and it could open as early as June 2019 if Bristol City Council approves the planning permission.

Bristol are you ready to throw axes with us at Whistle Punks?

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Friends laughing together

5 Reasons to go Axe Throwing for a First Date

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You only have one chance for a first date with somebody, unless you are Adam Sandler in 50 First Dates. Many swear by the classic, dinner and a movie, or catching up for a coffee. At Whistle Punks we swear that the best first date is urban axe throwing (surprise, surprise).

Before you go away thinking this is a shameless marketing ploy trying to get you to spend your hard earned cash (it 100% is), we do have reasons (and science!) to back up our claim.

1. Stand out from the crowd

In this time of Tinder and internet dating a person could feasibly go on a first date every night of the week. The vast majority of those will be for dinner, a drink or a coffee. How many people are being asked to go axe throwing? Not very hecking many, that’s how many. You will be remembered (for better or worse) for asking someone to go axe throwing.

2. The Science!

Have you heard of the misattribution of arousal? Studies found that adrenalin and an increased heart rate can increase your attraction to another person. Doing something adrenaline-inducing or physical activity on a first date increases your attraction to your date and your dates attraction to you. Axe throwing, for example.

3. Find out about your date

It’s also a great way to figure out if you and your date have similar natures. If they aren’t keen to go axe throwing then it could be a sign that they wouldn’t be as open to new experience as you. Use it as an early warning sign if you have an adventurous spirit.

4. Time to chat

Some people worry that with all the sharp objects flying around they may not get the chance to actually talk to the person they have brought on the date. There is enough time between throws to chat and laugh so no worries there.

5. Celebs do it (kind of)

On a recent episode of ‘Celeb’s Go Dating’ Vas J Morgan from TOWIE went axe throwing on a first date. If that isn’t enough reason to go axe throwing on a first date then I don’t know what is.

Valentine’s Day is coming up. It’s a perfect time to take a special someone axe throwing, get that blood pumping and feel the giddiness of love.

See you on the lanes.

Jack going through a safety brief at the start of a session

4 reasons why joining a sports league is great for you

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In this busy world, many people can forget to take time for themselves and when they do it is usually veging out in front of the telly watching the latest episode of Love Island or Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Forget that and try out joining a sports league, here are four reasons why you should consider it.

  1. Meet new people – Meeting new people and making new friends in a city is hard. Outside of work, there are very few opportunities to meet new potential friends. If only there was tinder for friends. Unfortunately, there isn’t (as far as we know) however, there is a plethora of cool after work activities that you can get involved in. Sports leagues are a great way to get off the couch, out of the house and meet your next best friend. The ice has already been broken by the activity, now all you need to do is bond over your shared interests. You’re welcome.
  2. Learn something new – learning something new has hundreds of benefits. Here are a few of our favourites: the more you learn and practice new skills, the more your brain chemistry changes and the faster you will learn. This is because you form more neural pathways which means you can process information much quicker. It also makes you happier and brings a feeling of accomplishment.
  3. Fuel the mind – exercise, competition and getting the blood pumping can increase brain power and make you happier.
  4. Having fun – the most important aspect of our lives is one that many people often forget. Fun brings balance to our lives. Paying the bills and grocery shopping need to be balanced with fun because it alleviates stress. Having fun also gives mental fortitude to get through the tough times. Finally, people who have fun are also more productive and harder working.
    You can get these aspects from any sports leagues and here at Whistle Punks, we think The Whistle Punks Axe Throwing League is the only way to go. Each league is 6 weeks long, one night per week for 2.5 hours. Many of our previous league players have created life-long friendships with the other league players.

What are you waiting for? Join our league now.

Top 6 Christmas Presents for Axe Throwing Enthusiasts

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The Christmas Season has begun it’s inevitable approach, bringing with it cold weather, woolly jumpers and red noses.

It’s the time of year that you need to start thinking about what to buy for your loved ones to open on Christmas day.

At the speed with which Axe Throwing is growing in popularity, many axey people will be writing their Christmas lists hoping that the Big Man in red brings down their chimney a gift that amplifies their passion for axe throwing.

Here’s our top 6 Christmas presents that any Whistle Punk would love to find under their tree on Christmas Day.

A Peeled Mouse Custom Axe

Top 6 christmas presents for axe throwers

The list starts off with the most obvious gift for axe throwers. A beautiful custom axe from Peeled Mouse.

Stephen Hill at Peeled Mouse is an incredibly talented man, creating beautiful and bespoke axes.
We’d all get AXECITED about a Peeled Mouse Axe if we saw it poking out of our stocking on Christmas morning. It is definitely at the top of our Christmas list.

The Whistle Punks League Champions win a Peeled Mouse Custom Axe. We spend all day drooling over the Peeled Mouse axes in the venue waiting to be won.
Click the link below if you’re interested in checking out some of Stephen’s work on Facebook or Instagram.

Whistle Punks Gift Certificates

Give the gift of axe-throwing this Christmas.

What could be better than that?

We sell gift certificates in our venues and on our website. Whistle Punks Gift certificates range from £25 up to £58, so shout a loved one (or two) to come and hurl axes with Whistle Punks.
You can use a gift certificate to throw at any Whistle Punks venue on any day of the week. We have one in Manchester, Birmingham and London.

Grab a gift certificate here.

Whistle Punks Hoodie

top 6 christmas presents for axe throwers

Possessing a Whistle Punks Hoodie is a rite of passage for Whistle Punks instructors. These hoodies are only earned after completing a LOT of training.

Stay cosy and wear the Whistle Punks logo with pride in your new pull-over or zip-up versions of the hoodie.

Axe Throwers Mug

If a custom axe from Peeled Mouse, a Whistle Punks hoodie or an axe-throwing gift certificate isn’t enough to show your love for urban axe throwing, one of the fastest growing and most exciting urban sports, then why not say it with a mug?

Picture this. It’s a cold, winter morning and your fingers are clutching a steaming mug of coffee. This isn’t any old mug. This is a mug that shouts your passion to the world. It’s an axe-throwing mug.
Enjoy your hot drinks with the satisfaction that you’ll be broadcasting your love and passion for axe-throwing with every sip you take.

Small Axe Viking Game

During last years secret Santa, one of our staff specifically requested this from his secret gift giver. Despite it being a little over our £10 budget, we checked it out and we really REALLY want one.

It is axe throwing on a miniature desktop version. With a small cross-section of a tree trunk as a target, the game gives you tiny double-bit axes as ammunition. As long as your aim is true it is the best and most satisfying way to indulge in the sport of axe throwing (other than actual axe throwing, of course) when you’re desperate for your fix between our opening times.

Steel Toe Boots!

top 6 christmas presents for axe throwers

For those looking to enjoy the sport whilst staying safe at the same time (health and safety for the win) steel toe boots are an essential part of the axe-throwers ensemble.

There is a common misconception that to be an axe-thrower you need to wear plaid shirts and have a big, thick, bushy beard; yet the one thing that is always missing but most valid is a pair of steel-toed boots.

When you visit our venues, you’ll notice that all our instructors will be rocking their ‘steelies’. Safety comes first in the world of axe-throwing, so steel toe boots are a necessity when taking up the sport.

If you plan on gifting someone a Peeled Mouse Axe for Christmas, make sure they open a pair of steelies first, and then it’s much safer to give them the axe (just a friendly top tip from Whistle Punks).

Have a wonderful Christmas.

 

Written by Ben Cross