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Archery: A Varsity Sport

December 3, 2012
By Shelby Enlow of Thomas Nelson HS

This school year there had been an addition to the world of varsity sports. This addition was NASP (National Archery in the Schools Program) archery. It will join competitive cheer and bass fishing this year as first year competitive varsity sports. Many people are excited for this new development including the KHSAA Commissioner of which she said ““We are thrilled to be able to add archery to our growing list of sport-activities," … “It’s another activity that seems like a perfect fit as it adds a group of students who may not already participate in an extra-curricular activity representing their school and it gives them a chance to compete and become a part of a team””

The children of Kentucky have had the opportunity to be a part of NASP at a club level, now for over 10 years, and this year the KHSAA (Kentucky High School Athletic Association) has declared it a varsity sport. Kentucky has become one of the first states nationally to declare archery as a varsity sport. The regional competitions will take place in late February, and the state competition in early March. NASP was started in 2002 by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and has spread to 47 states in our country and to a few other countries. And it all started in Kentucky! Over 10,000 kids in elementary, middle, and high school participated in NASP at a club level last year.

 NASP was an after school activity that has been in Nelson County Schools for many years. Thomas Nelson will be a new school to come in with this new development in the world of NASP archery this year. As Nelson County High School has been a part of NASP at the club level before. Thomas Nelson’s archery coach is Mr. Wade Crady. This is his first year coaching archery and so far he is doing a great job. Last year Nelson County High School’s archery team was able to advance to the National NASP Archery Tournament. Their coach was Sheriff Campbell and Mr. Jewell was learning to coach so he could take over this year at Nelson County High School.

“I participated in it last year at Nelson County High School and I had a lot of fun. We made it to Nationals and even had some people who advanced as individuals. Archery is a very fun experience that I believe everyone should try at least once. I am also a part of Shooting Sports through 4-H. Many people I know are in both 4-H and NASP. They go together well because they both promote responsibility, leadership, and success. If you are in 4-H, in Shooting Sports or not, it is a great idea to join NASP archery. It is an opportunity that should not be missed.”

To be a full team and compete in the NASP tournaments as a team and not just as individuals Thomas Nelson will have to have at least 16 people on the team 4 being of the opposite gender. We need more archers before regionals in February. It is really fun and I encourage everybody to join. There are many reasons to join, including the facts that it is now a VARSITY sport and there are many schools in the state of Kentucky that will give scholarships out for participating.


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