LAST UPDATED: May 1st, 2015
Millions of little boys and girls dread this time of year for one reason alone: going back to school. Perhaps they’d more excited about school if they could fire a few arrows? The Pennsylvania Game Commission thinks so.
HARRISBURG, PA – With students heading back to classes across the state, Pennsylvania Game Commission officials are encouraging schools to consider adding the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) to the physical education curriculum.
“In addition to meeting physical education curriculum requirements set by the state Department of Education, NASP fosters an interest in archery for these students,” said Samantha Pedder, Game Commission outreach coordinator, who oversees NASP in Pennsylvania. “Through competition, we hope that the excitement will cause students to want to continue to shoot and expand their archery experience. Among those expanded opportunities are 3-D archery tournaments and, eventually, bowhunting, which are natural avenues for archers to hone and maintain their skills.”
-Pedder noted that, in May, the Game Commission received recognition at the NASP Coordinator’s Conference for reaching the milestone of having 100 schools enrolled in NASP. The Game Commission also was recognized for achieving the greatest percentage increase in school enrollments over the past year from among 47 states and five Canadian provinces that offer NASP.
“We want to build on the success, and we are able to offer interested schools grants to help purchase the necessary equipment to get started,” Pedder said. “These grants are made available through organizations such Easton Sports Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Safari Club International.” â€¨School officials interested in learning more about the NASP grants, contact Samantha Pedder, at the Game Commission headquarters, at 717-787-4250, or [email protected]
-Earlier this year, on March 9, nearly 500 students from 23 schools competed at the NASP State Tournament held by the Pennsylvania Game Commission at the Penn State Multi-Sport Facility in University Park, Centre County.
-Following the state championships, in May, more than 70 Pennsylvania students participated in the NASP’s national competition in Louisville, Kentucky, and two students placed in the top 10 in their respective divisions. Also, the national event was recognized by Guinness World Records as the largest archery tournament with 7,804 competitors from 38 states.
-The World NASP Tournament will occur on Oct. 4-6, at Disney’s Wide World of Sports, and any NASP participating school in Pennsylvania is invited to send a team.
-In 2010, the Game Commission began coordinating Pennsylvania’s NASP, which helps school districts in Pennsylvania meet physical education curriculum requirements of the state Department of Education, while at the same time introducing them to the world of competitive archery. In 2011, about 350 students from nearly a dozen school districts participated in the state competition, which was volunteer-run at the time.
-Studies conducted by the national NASP organization demonstrate that NASP is a great introduction to the sport of archery, and that many students choose to pursue the sport outside of school.
-Started in Kentucky, in 2002, NASP has spread throughout the United States, and now is reaching around the world. At the end of the 2011-12 school year, nine million students had gone through NASP lessons in 9,000 schools throughout 47 states, Washington, D.C., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
Tournaments are held at the state, national and international levels.
-NASP is a joint venture that partners with state education and wildlife management agencies and archery equipment manufacturers and organizations to promote student education, physical education and participation in the lifelong sport of archery. The program’s focus is to provide international-style archery training in physical education classes in grades four through 12.