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For Release: Friday, May 3, 2013

National Archery in The Schools Program Growing in New York

Program Introduces Young People to Archery and Other Shooting Sports

School districts from across New York State are invited to enroll in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) sponsored by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. The winners of this year's competition were recently recognized at the New York Bowhunters Inc banquet in Canandaigua, Ontario County.

"The National Archery in the Schools Program is growing rapidly in New York," said Commissioner Martens. "Under Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, this cooperative effort between conservation agencies, school systems and private organizations is a great way to bring the sport of archery to millions of students across the United States and other countries. Archery is one of only a handful of sports that enables students of all ages and athletic abilities to compete at the same level for top honors, and as a sport dominated by precision and practice rather than age and brawn."

The overall top female archer in the tournament was Beth Bush with a score of 271; she attends Fabius-Pompey High School in Onondaga County. The top male archer in the tournament was Derrick Daniels with a score of 279; he attends Bainbridge-Guilford High School in Chenango County. Each will receive a plaque, a trophy for display at the school, a Genesis bow, a Morrell target and a dozen arrows at the New York Bowhunters (NYB) annual banquet this month. The New York chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Sportspeople Helping Others Through Sharing and NYB sponsored the tournament and have been strong supporters of NY-NASP. Awards are also given out in each of the three divisions for first through fifth places.

Students that placed in the top five in each of the three divisions qualify to compete and represent New York at the national NASP tournament held in Louisville, Kentucky on May 10th and 11th. Last year, eleven students from New York participated in the national NASP tournament in Kentucky.

The fifth annual school-based state tournament was a great success with 566 students from 19 schools participating in this competition during the first two weeks of March. A school-based 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 three divisions: High School, grades 9-12; Middle School, grades 7-8; and Elementary School, grades 4-6.

NASP is designed to engage more students in the educational process and improve participation in outdoor-type activities among students of all athletic abilities. DEC is involved in the program to introduce young people to archery and other shooting sports, a common way to become interested in hunting and the outdoors. NASP continues to grow at the national level with 1.7 million students participating in the program during the 2010-11 school year. More than 9,000 schools in 47 states, Washington D.C., Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia have adopted the program. In New York 178 schools from 115 school districts participate in the program.

Connie Frasier, a volunteer who teaches NASP at Mohawk Valley Christian Academy, in Herkimer County and had three students attend the national tournament last year said: "NASP is a fantastic program, it is fun and it keeps the students focused, which is a great life skill. Going to the national tournament was a great experience; I wish every student could go."

Robin Bartholomew, a physical education teacher at Cato Meridian, in Cayuga County said: "NASP is a very well organized and methodical approach to teaching Archery to students. It helps to have an activity to offer to students who are not interested or skilled in team sports. I have found that it is one sport that many of the students look forward to doing in class as well as participating outside of the school setting. Those students who enjoy it seem to quickly pick up on the skills and grow tremendously in the areas of self-confidence and esteem when participating in the program. I would have to say that NASP is right on target for many students."

For more information on NASP and to view the NASP photo gallery, visit the DEC website.

DEC is looking for volunteers to assist in training physical education teachers for the NASP. Those interested in volunteering or know of a school that would like to join the program, please contact Melissa Bailey, the state program coordinator for NY-NASP at 315-793-2515 or e-mail at mrbailey@gw.dec.state.ny.us.

Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative is an effort to improve recreational activities for in-state and out-of-state sportsmen and sportswomen and to boost tourism opportunities throughout the state. This initiative includes the streamlining of hunting and fishing licensing and reducing license fees, improved access for fishing at various sites across the state, and increasing hunting opportunities in various regions.

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