Friday, May 11, 2012

Who's In Town: National Archery in the Schools National Tournament

The National Archery in the Schools Program started in Kentucky in 2002 and has worked to advocate adding competitive archery into schools' PE programs ever since. They provide 4th-12th grade curricula that follow National Physical Education Standards to schools and mentor and recruit coaches of International Style Target Archery.

And they're in town from May 11 - 12 for their National Tournament.  I asked John Gautier of the NASP a few questions about their visit.

And let's just get this out of the way, I did not fall down on my job as your favorite blogger (or second favorite?... third?... just 'area blogger'?). I asked the folks from the National Archery in the Schools National Competition if the HUNGER GAMES was driving kids in droves to the sport of archery.  Jon's response, "We feel that NASP has contributed to the popularity of Archery, so the exact opposite of what the media announces. Archery has been around for a very long time and NASP has been in the works for just over 10 years." I'm not sure what that means. Does he mean that the NASP has made archery so popular that Suzanne Collins included it as Katniss's hobby?

The rest of the interview was equally... terse... But still, it sounds like a fantastic-- HUGE-- event! And, what a spectacle it probably is. It's at the Expo Center. I'm sorry I can't give you more information but their website is also... clear as mud.

LOU: What goes on during the tournament? Can you give us a brief overview of the event?

Gautier: The Nationals is a culminating event. NASP archers from all over the US have competed at the Regional & State level tournaments and advanced to the Nationals. The NASP World tournament at ESPN's Wide World of Sports follows this event in October each year and draws NASP archers & teams from the US, Canada, New Zealand & South Africa.

LOU: The website refers to the event as "Where Olympic Journeys Begin"-- just how close are the medal-winners to earning a spot on the Olympic team?

We have partnered with the US Olympic Committee to help promote the 2012 Olympics, NASP archers have a very good chance of advancing in Archery as they are receiving an excellent start with NASP.

LOU:  How many competitors do you expect? How many people total?

A. Over 8,100 NASP Student Archers

LOU:  Can the public attend this event? If so, what would be the most exciting time for someone to attend?
A. Yes, it is open to the public, there is a nominal gate fee per person per day. The most exciting time would at anytime, however the very last competitive flight that leads up to the Scholarship shoot off will be feature as well as the awards ceremony.

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