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Harrisburg, U.S.A. - Pennsylvania student participants and the Pennsylvania Game Commission came away from the recent National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) tournament with some awards and high honors. The event, which took place May 11 and 12, in Louisville, Kentucky, was recognized by Guinness World Records as the largest archery tournament with 7,804 competitors from 38 states.
“More than 70 students from Pennsylvania made the trek to compete in the tournament, including teams from New Castle Christian Academy, Williams Valley High School and Halifax High School,” said Samantha Pedder, Game Commission outreach coordinator, who oversees NASP in Pennsylvania.”Two students placed in the top 10 in their respective divisions, and almost all shooters posted higher scores at the nationals than at the state tournament!”
Among those who finished in the top ten were Garrett Richardson, from New Castle Christian Academy, who placed third in the fourth grade male division with a score of 279 out of a possible 300. Richardson placed first in this division at the Pennsylvania state tournament with a score of 255.
Katelyn Donely, a tenth grader from Williams Valley High School, placed sixth in the High School Female Division with a score of 289 out of a possible 300. Donely tied for fifth, but finished second in a shoot-off round. She was first in the same division in the Pennsylvania state tournament, with a score of 279.
The Game Commission received recognition at the NASP Coordinator’s Conference, which occurred before the tournament, for reaching the milestone of having 100 schools enrolled in NASP. The Game Commission also was recognized for achieving the greatest percentage increase in school enrollments over the past year from among 47 states and five Canadian provinces that offer NASP.
The World NASP Tournament will occur on Oct. 4-6, at Disney’s Wide World of Sports, and any NASP participating school in Pennsylvania is invited to send a team.
In 2010, the Game Commission began coordinating Pennsylvania’s NASP, which helps school districts inPennsylvania meet physical education curriculum requirements of the state Department of Education, while at the same time introducing them to the world of competitive archery. In 2011, about 350 students from nearly a dozen school districts participated in the state competition, which was volunteer-run at the time.
Earlier this year, on March 9, nearly 500 students from 23 schools competed at the NASP State Tournament held by the Pennsylvania Game Commission at the Penn State Multi-Sport Facility inUniversity Park, Centre County.
Studies conducted by the national NASP organization demonstrate that NASP is a great introduction to the sport of archery, and that many students choose to pursue the sport outside of school.
“NASP fosters an interest in archery for these students, and we hope that the excitement that competitions build will cause students to want to continue to shoot and expand their archery experience,” Pedder said. “We want to encourage them to keep shooting and to consider taking the next steps toward 3-D archery tournaments and, eventually, bow hunting, which are natural avenues for archers to hone and maintain their skills.”
Started in Kentucky, in 2002, NASP has spread throughout the United States, and now is reaching around the world. At the end of the 2011-12 school year, nine million students had gone through NASP lessons in 9,000 schools throughout 47 states, Washington, D.C., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Tournaments are held at the state, national and international levels.
NASP is a joint venture that partners with state education and wildlife management agencies and archery equipment manufacturers and organizations to promote student education, physical education and participation in the lifelong sport of archery. The program’s focus is to provide international-style archery training in physical education classes in grades four through 12.