Pennsylvania NASP Program Stays on Target during Pandemic

archeryImage by Susanne Jutzeler, Schweiz

HARRISBURG, PA – In a year that has been anything but typical for students across the state, Pennsylvania’s National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) has helped to keep student archers safely shooting their bows throughout the 2020-21 school year. The program, which is managed in Pennsylvania by the Game Commission, is hosting a virtual state tournament through the end of March, allowing students to compete for NASP awards and scholarships.

“For many students, NASP has been one of the bright spots of this school year because the archery curriculum can be structured to allow them to maintain proper social distancing while shooting,” said Game Commission Shooting Sports Outreach Coordinator and NASP State Coordinator Todd Holmes.

“Typically, in mid-March, thousands of NASP students and spectators travel to the NASP state tournament at Penn State University, which is the highlight of the season for a lot of kids,” Holmes added. “Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic canceled both the 2020 and 2021 in-person state tournaments, but we were able to get creative this year and figured out a way to still allow students to compete for awards.”

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Pennsylvania NASP’s 2021 Virtual State Tournament began March 1 and runs through March 31. Students can shoot a qualifying score from home, school, a local archery club or any participating archery retailer, which can be found on the Pennsylvania NASP map. NASP coaches report students’ scores to the NASP tournament website. All tournament details are available online.

The following sporting goods retailers, archery shops and sportsmen’s clubs, located across the state, have partnered with Pennsylvania NASP this year to allow students to utilize their indoor shooting lanes for free to compete: Archery Encounters LLC, Erie; Bakers Archery, Halifax; Beaver Valley Archers, New Brighton; Drop Tine Archery, Allenwood; Jim’s Sports Center, Clearfield; Kinsey’s, Mount Joy; Lancaster Archery Supply, Lancaster; Moore’s Sports Center, Wellsboro; Shooters Showcase, Slippery Rock; Silver Birch Archery, Milford; T Town Archery, Tunkhannock; The Archer’s Edge, Oakdale; Up in Arms, Smithfield; Weavers Archery, Middleburg and Williams Archery, Edinburg.

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“We are very grateful for the students, coaches, parents and the many shops and clubs that helped to make the virtual state tournament a reality,” said Holmes. “This virtual tournament provided a positive, motivating opportunity for our student archers during a challenging time and we are really happy with how it is turning out.”

NASP seeks to promote instruction in international-style target archery as part of in-school curriculum, to improve educational performance and participation in the shooting sports among students in grades 4-12. For more information about getting a school or students involved with NASP in Pennsylvania, contact Game Commission Shooting Sports Outreach Coordinator Todd Holmes by email at [email protected] or by phone at 717-787-4250.

“Beyond this year’s virtual state tournament, we’re excited that several new schools have enrolled in the program throughout the last year, due to educators and coaches looking for activities to keep their students motivated, while staying consistent with school and state safety guidelines,” Holmes added.

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The Pennsylvania Game Commission manages and protects wildlife and their habitats and promotes hunting and trapping for current and future generations. Visit www.pgc.pa.gov for more about NASP, as well as other information related to Pennsylvania wildlife, hunting, shooting sports and more.

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