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A new, statewide archery program is giving students the chance to aim higher, not only with their bow and arrow, but in their education, too.
Scholastic 3-D Archery is an outdoor archery program in its first year in Kentucky and regional coordinator Tom Chamberlain said Bullitt County does not yet have 3-D archery in any of its schools.
Currently, Bullitt County has the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP), but Chamberlain said adding Scholastic 3-D Archery to the NASP would make it better.
“The NASP in Bullitt County has been very successful,” he said. “It only makes sense to take it to the next level.”
Scholastic 3-D Archery is meant to complement the NASP, not replace it, Chamberlain said.
“If anything, this will help current shooters,” he said.
One of the benefits of the Scholastic 3-D Archery program is it gives students the opportunity to receive scholarships.
“This may be the extra push they need to get into higher education,” Chamberlain said.
Scholastic 3-D Archery students are actively recruited by collegiate archery programs and can receive archery scholarships, executive director Jennie Richardson said.
“We have colleges looking for talent to improve college programs,” she said.
Because the NASP isn’t shot at a collegiate level, Richardson said, the NASP could only offer scholarships to a student's school of choice.
Students who participate in NASP that want to shoot at the college level have to change equipment, Richardson said.
The equipment and the tournament format are other differences the programs have.
The NASP is held indoors in school gyms, with two students shooting three arrows at a time at one target. The students use 30 arrows and shoot at distances of 10 and 15 meters.
The Scholastic 3-D Archery program is outdoors and groups of four students shoot one arrow at a time at 3-D animal silhouettes or foam animal targets anywhere from 10 to 30 yards away. Students can only shoot one arrow at each target and have 20 targets to shoot.
The bows NASP uses are basic; one size fits all, Richardson said, while Scholastic 3-D Archery allows students to put sights, releases and stabilizers on their bows.
Richardson said the main difference between the two programs is NASP uses standardized equipment and Scholastic 3-D Archery has a standardized program.
Because Scholastic 3-D Archery is outdoors, there isn’t any competition for practice space in schools, Chamberlain said, which is an issue the NASP faces.
In addition, Richardson said some school administrators have come to her wanting to start outdoor programs to get their students outside.
“Kids love being outside,” she said.
Another benefit of Scholastic 3-D Archery is it’s paid for through fundraising, Chamberlain said, because it’s an after-school club and there are no paid coaches.
The NASP is both an in-school program and an after-school club, Richardson said.
Parents play a big role in Scholastic 3-D Archery, Chamberlain said, with 90 percent of volunteers being parents.
“A lot of programs are initiated by parents,” he said.
Parents who have the right equipment are even allowed to shoot alongside their children, Richardson said.
Chamberlain said he is willing to work with parents, coaches, teachers, administrators or anyone who wants to start a Scholastic 3-D Archery program in Bullitt County.
“I don’t want Bullitt County to lag behind,” he said.
To find out more information about the Scholastic 3-D Archery program, contact Chamberlain at 502-905-5065.