Aspiring Glasgow teacher hones tutoring skills at axe-throwing venue

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A 23-year-old Glasgow woman has chosen the unusual job of axe-throwing to hone her tutoring skills in advance of embarking on her dream career as a school teacher.

Abbie Young left her previous role as a call centre handler in 2020 in order to gain more experience in the world of teaching before completing her college course and applying for places at university.

But instead of seeking more traditional routes, she wanted to expand her people skills the hard way by entering the macho, male-dominated arena of competitive axe-throwing.

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Learning on the job

Alongside completing her HND in social sciences at Glasgow Clyde College, Abbie works as a supervisor at Hatchet Harry’s in Union Street.

As the firm’s only current female employee in Scotland, she regularly has to prove herself to groups of burly male customers, who are not always pleased to be out-thrown by a woman.

Abbie Young wants to be a teacher.Abbie Young wants to be a teacher.
Abbie Young wants to be a teacher. | Contributed

Yet the tenacity of this five-feet-seven-inch “girl from Lanark” has paid off, as she has been offered a place on a history degree course at Strathclyde University in September and now feels ready for almost anything that her future teaching career may throw at her.

“Hatchet Harry’s is a great place to work,” said Abbie, who joined the firm in October 2020. “I used to feel quite intimidated by the male customers, but I’m not one of those women who shies away from a challenge.

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“I’m always keen to strip away gender bias, and being at the sharp end – sometimes quite literally – has given me skills that will be invaluable to teaching in a secondary school.

“Working at Hatchet Harry’s is also great fun, and I’ve even picked up loads of DIY skills, from changing target boards at the venue to general upkeep and maintenance, that I had never been taught by anyone before.”

Part of Abbie’s role as supervisor involves teaching customers how to throw axes at wooden targets in the venue’s indoor range.

“I was not great at it when I first tried it, but I took to it quite quickly, and I can now hit the odd bullseye and often surprise some of the bigger men who come here,” said Abbie. “It’s definitely more about technique than brute force.”

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‘Male-dominated past’

Jack Beadle, joint owner of the growing Hatchet Harry’s chain alongside business partner Richard Bridge, said despite Abbie being the firm’s only current female employee in Scotland, about half of the company’s workforce across the UK was made up of women and he was keen to add more women to the payroll north of the border.

“Abbie has been a fantastic addition to the team in Glasgow and has shown that axe throwing is no longer stuck in its male-dominated past,” he said.

“It’s a fun activity for everyone, and we’re really proud of Abbie for the way she has ploughed a furrow for all women. She’ll make a great teacher and we wish her all the best in her future career.”

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