More than 700 students throughout the state will compete Feb. 11 in the 5th annual National Archery in the Schools Georgia State Tournament.
The state’s top student archers from more than 30 elementary, middle and high schools will convene in Perry for the tournament. The state tournament is coordinated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division and is open to all Georgia schools enrolled in the National Archery in the Schools program (NASP).
With shooter numbers topping 700 this year, participation has more than quadrupled since the first year. There were 457 registered shooters last year.
“We are so pleased to see the NASP program and participation in the state tournament grow each year,” says State Shooting Sports Program Manager Jennifer Pittman. “Archery is a sport that anyone - male or female, small or large - can find success as long as they practice and dedicate time to achieve their goals. It is a program that teaches concentration, hand-eye coordination, patience and determination - all of which mesh perfectly with school goals.”
State Tournament Division winners and qualifiers will have the opportunity to compete at the NASP National Tournament May 13-14, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky, where nearly 7,000 student archers from more than 35 states are expected to participate. At the state tournament, the highest scoring male and female archer will each win $1,000 college scholarships. Archery equipment and other awards are also given to top individual archers. The top three teams in each division receive plaques and archers are awarded medals.
The state tournament is conducted at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in conjunction with the Georgia Wildlife Federation’s Great Outdoors Show. The Feb. 11 shoot will be held in the Miller Murphy Howard Building next to gate No. 24 (West Gate).
Teams of 16-24 students from each school will compete in three separate divisions: elementary (4th-6th grade), middle (7th-8th grade) and high (9th-12th grade). Archers will shoot at 10- and 15-meter intervals in seven “flights.” An awards reception will follow completion of the last flight about 6 p.m.
At last year’s tournament, a seventh grade male from Dodge County Middle (Eastman) and a fifth grade girl from Woodlawn Elementary (Chatsworth) each received $1,000 scholarships after winning the top male and female shooter awards. Eleven schools qualified to compete in the NASP National Tournament and six of those schools traveled to Louisville, Kentucky to shoot against more than 6,700 other student archers from around the country. The Woodlawn Elementary School team in Chatsworth also won the Elementary Division title at the NASP World Tournament in Orlando last October.
In addition to the tournament, there will be several activities for participants during the Great Outdoors Show. Admission is free for archers and registered coaches and $8 for observers.
The Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter is located off I-75. Driving directions can be found at www.gnfa.com .
MORE ABOUT NASP
NASP is an in-school archery curriculum that meets all education department standards. Only schools that are certified in NASP through the Georgia Department of Natural Resources are qualified to compete in the Georgia Tournament. Schools in nearly 80 counties in Georgia are NASP certified.
The program promotes instruction in international-style target archery to improve educational performance and participation in shooting sports. Research has shown that the program, administered through a minimum two-week course during the school year, improves class attendance and behavior. NASP universal fit bows make it possible for students of all sizes and genders to succeed in archery while raising self-esteem levels and improving hand-eye coordination during physical activity.
NASP is taught in 48 states as well as Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand. To date, more than 7 million students have gone through the program.
For more information on NASP in Georgia, recreational shooting sports opportunities or to find a range near you, visit www.georgiawildlife.com, contact a local WRD Game Management Office or call (770) 918-6416.