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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado - In 2018, USA Archery continued to offer Explore Archery Grant programs to key communities through partnerships and support from the Archery Trade Association and Easton Foundations. The program, which began with Michigan and New York in 2017 has expanded to Georgia Recreation and Parks Association (GRPA) and California Park and Recreation Society (CPRS) in 2018 to secure grant funding to educate archery coaches in each state and meet the demand of interested archers.
The grants are intended to help local parks and recreation departments to start Explore Archery programs across the state. Explore Archery is a fun, easy way to get started in archery. The program features a short-term curriculum that is perfect for participants that areeither new to the sport of archery or beginners looking for an introductory program. Explore Archery teaches important skills including range safety and proper shooting form and includes exciting games and the chance to earn achievement awards.
Selected applicants were invited to a two-day USA Archery Level 2 Instructor certification academy where they became qualified to teach the Explore Archery program, which includes options for one-day try archery programs and multi-week instructional classes and camps. Graduates of the academy received an equipment kit for their department, the Explore Archery curriculum and other program materials so they may offer archery as a new sport option for community members. Through these academies, the grant provided funding to support 9 communities in California and 10 in Georgia.
Cherokee Recreation and Parks Agency's Outdoor Recreation Coordinator, Adam Fussell, CYSA commented: "USA Archery has created something very special with the Explore Archery Grant. Here at Cherokee Recreation and Parks Agency, we had the absolute pleasure of hosting a two-day training for different recreation agencies throughout the state of Georgia, who had all applied for the grant. The training was nothing short of excellent and very informative. The Explore Archery Grant that we received made it possible for us to provide and fill the void of archery programming in our community. All thanks goes to USA Archery and its partners for providing the grant and to the Georgia Recreation and Park Association for partnering with USA Archery and making it possible for us as a recipient of the grant!"
Mark Freeman, Community Services Supervisor for the City of Garden Grove has been a USA Archery Level 2 Instructor for several years and was excited to have some of his staff take the training and to start implementing archery in Garden Grove. Freeman commented: "We're planning on starting slowly with 'Teens Try Archery' events this spring to create a little buzz, test marketing and build a foundation and then this summer we'll start a 6-8 week Explore Archery clinic where kids come in regularly and we'll piece in basic fundamentals and start to get more advanced."
Freeman says that after several successful seasons he plans to take the next step: "My ultimate goal is to create a youth archery league with volunteer coaches we train. We have a pretty economically and ethnically diverse community, and I think it's awesome to expose those youth to archery because it's kind of hard for someone in a lower income area to get access to a bow and arrow and go out and get proper instruction so I'm excited to expose those youth and teens to such a great sport."
USA Archery looks forward to continuing our work with the Archery Trade Association and Easton Foundations to continue this program in 2019 and beyond. Learn more about Explore Archery.
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