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'Archery in the Schools' Growing in New York
New York Ag Connection - 04/19/2017

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the 60 New York students who scored high enough in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) to compete in the national tournament this May. Students from participating schools and school districts across the state competed in the archery program in March.

"The National Archery in the Schools Program is growing in New York," said Commissioner Seggos. "This cooperative effort between conservation agencies, school systems, and private organizations is a great way to bring the sport of archery to thousands of students across the state. Archery is one of the few sports where students of all ages and athletic abilities compete at the same level for top honors. Even with the expanded participation that we have experienced here in New York, we are encouraging more schools to join us in New York NASP."

NASP is designed to improve participation in outdoor activities among students of all athletic abilities. DEC started this program in 2008 to introduce young people to archery, outdoors, and other shooting sports, including hunting. In New York, 320 schools from 167 school districts currently participate in the program and more than 34,000 students participated during the school year. NASP continues to grow at the national level with 2.4 million students and more than 14,400 schools in 47 states participating in the program.

As part of the New York program, an annual statewide competition is held for participating schools. This year, approximately 700 students from 33 school districts competed during the first two weeks of March. The 2017 statewide event was successfully held as school-based tournaments where the students compete at their respective schools and their scores are compiled by DEC. Each competitor can achieve a maximum score of 300 points. There are three divisions: High School, grades 9-12; Middle School, grades 6-8; and Elementary School, grades 4-5.

The overall top female archer in the tournament was Jordan Sands with a score of 285. Jordan attends Hinsdale High School in Cattaraugus County. The top male archer in the tournament was Jake Hafner with a score of 287. Jake attends Schroon Lake Central (High) School in Essex County.

Students that place in the top 10 in each of the three divisions, by gender, qualify to compete and represent New York at the national NASP tournament in Louisville, Ky., on May 11-13. This year, New York is sending 60 eligible students from 17 schools to the national tournament.

Chris VanGorden from the Palmyra-Macedon and Lori Weykman from the Phelps-Clifton Springs Central School Districts in western New York both agree that "NASP is a valuable program that has created opportunities for a great number of kids that may not have otherwise been involved in a sport in our schools. We have seen first-hand the increase in self-esteem in our students who have participated in the NASP Program."

Michael Sharp, a physical education teacher at Schroon Lake Central School, in Essex County said, "NASP is probably the best program that I have ever introduced into my curriculum; it inspires all types of students to participate. The kids absolutely love it!"

For more information on NASP and to view the NASP photo gallery, visit DEC's website and contact the sportsman Education Program, the state program coordinator for NY-NASP at 1-888-486-8332 or e-mail at hunter@dec.ny.gov.

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