Meet the Newcastle axe-throwing specialists cutting down stereotypes

Axe-throwing is fast becoming a popular activity in Newcastle

A Geordie ballerina is smashing 'boy's job' stereotypes around the new trend of axe throwing.

Axe throwing is an upcoming activity on the leisure scene with centres popping up around Newcastle and across the country.

The activity centres around participants throwing axes at a target, very similar to a shooting range.

It’s a game for anyone to have a go at, as a 5ft 6in ballerina from Newcastle is proving.

Sinead Wynne is 18 years old and is one of two female axe-throwing coaches at Hatchet Harry’s in Newcastle who show customers how to hold the axe and lead them through competitions.

She holds down the unusual job while studying at Gateshead College for a Level 3 diploma in commercial dance, which includes ballet.

Sinead, of Newcastle, said: “What I like about the job is you get to see different groups and communicate with them and have good craic with them.

“It’s not serious like a normal job, and you get to have fun with it.

“When I first started, I thought it was a boy’s job, but since then I’ve grown in confidence, and I enjoy surprising big groups of lads with my axe-throwing skills, when they’re like ‘wooah!’

“Sometimes I have to shout over big groups, but this job helps with my communication skills.”

Sinead is training to be a dancer
Sinead is training to be a dancer
Sinead is training to be a dancer

When asked for any advice for any other women wanting to have a go at the trendy new activity, Sinead adds: "Just do it - don’t look at the concept that boys have to do it.

"If you look at football, girls do football as well. There are lots of girls that do it better than the boys.”

Sinead is joined at Hatchet Harry's by fellow coach Shannon Smith.

Shannon is from near Redcar, but now lives in Newcastle whilst studying for a degree in forensic science at Teeside University.

Speaking about her role, Shannon said: “This is completely new for me - and I love it.

“It’s a nice little bit of stress relief, and it doesn’t actually require strength - it’s all about where you stand and the skill of your throwing.”

Describing reactions to males who discover they are having a female as a coach, she said: “There have been a few who have been a bit worried that I’m not just staying behind the desk.

Shannon says axe throwing isn’t all about strength
Shannon says axe throwing isn’t all about strength
Shannon says axe throwing isn’t all about strength

“Men tend to put all their strength behind it, but it’s not always about strength.

“There are a lot more women getting involved in the sport than you would think.

“I find hen parties the funniest - one group had a picture of the stag as the target.

“They are a bit more of a laugh, whereas for men, it’s more of who can throw the hardest or fastest.”

Jack Beadle, who along with Richard Bridge is co-managing director at Hatchet Harry’s, said: “Our aim is to bring axe-throwing to everyone - it isn’t just for the lads.

“As long as you can comfortably raise your arm above your head, you can take part.

“Axe-throwing is all about technique, and whether you are male or female is irrelevant to the success you’ll have.”