Across the country, archery is experiencing a wave of popularity with young people thanks, in part, to the successful Hunger Games book and movie series, and to the expanding National Archery in the schools program.
In Iowa, in conjunction with the release of the movie “Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” the Department of Natural Resources is giving away a new Mathews Genesis bow. The Iowa Bowhunters Association’s National Archery in the Schools Program Foundation is sponsoring the bow for the drawing.
Iowa claims an impressive list of archery champions, including Miranda Leek from Des Moines, current indoor and outdoor champion, and member of the 2014 Senior U.S. National Archery Team and the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team for women’s recurve archery.
Also Bridger Deaton of Otley, is a member of 2014 Senior U.S. Archery Team for men’s compound archery, after his team placed silver in Wuix, China at the 2013 World Archery Youth Championships. Matt Stutzman from Fairfield won a silver medal in the 2012 London Paralympics.
Currently, more than 2,500 elementary through high school student athletes participate in Iowa’s National Archery in the Schools program. Parents or students interested in competing in archery at their school can learn more about the program at www.iowadnr.gov/archery.
There is so much more to archery than the simple bow and arrow.
How it started
Wildlife Conservation agencies became concerned that too many young people forgoing learning outdoor skills that will inspire them to spend more time with wild things in wild places.
Natural resource professionals have long been convinced that learning target shooting skills results in character and self-reliance development that will serve the future of wildlife conservation well.
The National Archery in the Schools Program was co-created by the Kentucky Departments of Fish & Wildlife Resources and Department of Education and Mathews Archery in the late summer and fall of 2001.
The program was launched in 21 Kentucky middle schools on March 3, 2002. Originally called the Kentucky Archery in the Schools Program, the effort’s goal was to enroll 120 schools and teach target archery skills to 24,000 students each year. Kentucky gave itself three years to achieve this goal.
Within the program’s first year the 120-school goal was achieved and because of neighbor-state interest, the program’s name changed.
NASP® also expanded its participation standards to include students in 4th to the 12th grade, and was granted 501 c (3) non-profit educational foundation status. NASP® is overseen by an all-volunteer board of directors.
Every state, province and country enrolled in NASP® has a coordinator in charge of leading the program in their jurisdiction.
Educators interested in learning how to start an archery program in their school, can request information from firstname.lastname@example.org or call (608) 633-2156.
--Contributed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the National Archery in the Schools Program