It does not take an entire movement to make a difference. A decade ago, a few Fish & Game officers were sitting around and devised a plan to engage kids in an educational sports program founding what later became the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP). Today, the program has expanded to all 50 states and several countries and reaches millions of youngsters each year. NASP’s annual tournament has even been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest archery tournament in the world.
Recently, one more person proved how you could make a difference.
In March 2015, a home-school teacher in Greenville, South Carolina, Colleen Pusateri contacted the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP). She thought archery deserved a “special day.” Ms. Pusateri, coach of the Hurricanes School Archery teams remarked, “NASP enables us to bring children together to participate in a safe and competitive archery community creating friendships, memories and skill sets that will last a lifetime.” By the end of that day, NASP had arranged with the “National Day Calendar” group to establish the 2nd Saturday of May as “National Archery Day”. NASP did this to celebrate the millions of student archer graduates and current and future participants in its in-school archery program. According to the Archery Trade Association, archery participation in the U.S. has nearly tripled from about 7 million to 19 million archers in just over a decade.
Setting aside the 2nd Saturday in May is significant in the archery realm. This is the day the largest competitive archery tournament in the world conducts its award ceremony in Louisville, Kentucky. The 12th annual National Archery in the Schools Program’s national tournament will be May 7-9 2015 at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky. This event has set, broke and re-established the Guinness World Record for the largest archery tournament on the planet. NASP itself has been one of the fastest growing shooting sports programs for the past 14 years. Nearly 2.5 million students participate in NASP annually—more kids than even everyone’s favorite, Little League Baseball! Obviously, archery has become a very big deal for millions of kids, parents, and teachers throughout the United States.
This year National Archery Day will be May 9th. This is the same day as the awards ceremony for 12,399 student archers who have registered for this year’s U.S. NASP National Tournament. In addition to trophies, plaques, medals and banners, NASP will award 10 terrific archers, grades 4-12th, a total of $105,000 in post-secondary scholarships.
Help NASP celebrate National Archery Day by #NationalArcheryDay to all pictures, posts, comments and conversations regarding archery on Saturday May 9th.
For more information about the non-profit NASP, go to www.naspschools.org.