From the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources
-- The fifth annual West Virginia Archery in the Schools (AIS) Program State Tournament March 27 in Charleston should be the largest indoor youth archery tournament in the history of the state with 540 students participating, representing 41 West Virginia schools.
Since the pilot program began in the fall of 2004, interest from schools has grown from a handful the first year to 219 schools. An estimated 40,000 students have gone through the Archery in the Schools Program in six years, making it the DNR’s largest and fastest growing educational program.
Students from 51 divisional teams representing the following 41 separate schools will participate in this year’s tournament.
“We’re very encouraged by the success of the program,” said Program Coordinator Jerry Westfall. “It provides students an exciting activity, gives them a life skill, and can lead to future indoor or outdoor archery endeavors. DNR also recognizes contributions of several wildlife and archery organizations and a host of volunteers and interested parents. Everyone is encouraged by how successful the program and tournament have become.”
The tournament will be held in the Charleston Civic Center March 27 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The awards ceremony will follow at 4 p.m. Entrance to this year’s tournament at the Civic Center is $5 for adults (18 and older), $3 for children (6-17 years), and free for children younger than 6.
Tournament competition is open only to schools that have received the DNR-sponsored AIS training. For more information on the WV Archery in the Schools Program visit www.wvdnr.gov/archery.