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National Archery in the Schools Program

National Archery in the Schools Program New York logo

The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) is a cooperative effort between state conservation departments, school systems and private organizations to help engage young citizens in outdoor activities and participate in the enduring sport of archery. The program promotes student education, physical education, and lifelong participation in archery. Since its inception in March 2002, more than 4 million students at over 8,500 schools located in 47 states and 5 countries have participated in NASP. New York was the 44th state to implement the program and school participation continues to grow each year.

National Archery in the Schools Program participant shooting a bow

NASP-New York is dedicated to providing quality instruction, information, and support for implementation of archery in physical education curriculums for grades 4-12. Safety and a positive atmosphere for students are emphasized. The program helps build muscle, endurance, and flexibility, and helps develop hand-eye-coordination, grip, and body strength. Archery is a non-discriminatory sport and can be taught through this program to almost any student of nearly any age or skill level. Educators report that NASP "engages the unengaged" and inspires students to greater achievement in school.

Virtual and National Tournaments

The fourth annual "virtual" tournament was held this year with great success with 309 students from 15 schools participating in this competition during the first two weeks of March. A virtual tournament is where the students compete at their respective schools and send their scores to the NASP state coordinator. Each competitor could achieve a maximum score of 300 points. There are 3 divisions: high school, grades 9-12; middle school, grades 7-8; and elementary school, grades 4-6.

National Archery in the Schools Program champion archers

The overall top female archer in the tournament was Alexa Denhoff with a score of 255; she attends Fabius-Pompey High School in Onondaga County. The top male archer in the tournament was Jay Vinson, who also attends Fabius-Pompey High School, with a score of 283. Each received a plaque to take home, a trophy for display at the school, a Genesis bow, a Morrell target, and a dozen arrows.

Six students from Jordan Elbridge, in Onondaga County, participated in the national NASP tournament in Kentucky on May 13, 2011. Students from at least three New York schools will be attending the 2012 national NASP tournament in May in Kentucky. Tracey Engle, a physical education teacher at Jordan Elbridge and one of the chaperones for the six students who attended the national tournament in 2011, stated that "The national tournament was a great experience that all competitive students should strive to achieve and my students would not have had the experience if it had not been for the National Archery in Schools Program." There were over 6700 participants from 34 states that competed at the national tournament.

DEC is looking for volunteers to assist in training physical education teachers for NASP. If anyone is interested in volunteering or knows of a school that would like to join the program, please contact Melissa Bailey, the state program coordinator for NASP-NY at 315-793-2515 or via e-mail.


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