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Junior Olympic Archery Development, or JOAD, is USA Archery's nationwide youth archery program. JOAD offers beginning, intermediate and advanced archers the chance to learn the sport over a series of classes. Archers may choose to pursue the sport recreationally, or advance as far as their dreams will take them. This feature is part of a series of club profiles called the "JOAD Club Spotlight."
The Newberry Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) Club was founded in February 2011 and is based out of the Easton Newberry Sports Complex in Newberry, Fla. In the club's short history it has become a thriving example of a successful JOAD program. This year the club has increased its membership by over 100%, bringing its roster to 75 members. Beside this amazing growth, the program has had amazing success in tournaments: their archers have won 3 national titles, 15 medals in national competitions, 21 regional medals and 59 state records in just over a year.
Newberry JOAD Club President Kim Oliver credits the club's success to the "sense of community" that is a major component of the program's culture. "I believe we have evolved a sense of community with our club, and our kids are very rewarded and encouraged during our club shoots and within their training," said Oliver.
Keeping in touch with the area's JOAD community is a struggle that many archery programs face. Newberry has tackled this challenge by using three forms of communication. First, they have a website where parents can view the volunteer schedule, calendar of events, register for tournaments and signup for fundraising events. They additionally have a Facebook page where they post pictures and reminders for upcoming events. Finally, they also use email to keep in frequent touch with members.
Many JOAD clubs rely on fundraising and grants to help offset expenses. Newberry has not received any grant money, but they have been very successful in fundraising. They raised over $16,000 this year to send twenty-two archers to JOAD Nationals. All of their fundraising events are community oriented. From bagging groceries to soliciting local businesses, the club raised money while educating the Newberry community about archery.
Running a JOAD club isn't all business; a club has to keep practice fun and interesting for its members. An innovative way the Newberry JOAD Club is making practice more fun is having educational clinics at monthly club shoots.
"We surveyed our archers to find out what they wanted to learn more about and we bring in guest speakers to provide instruction on those topics," Oliver explained.
"Recently, the University of Florida Archery Club came to speak to the group about college level archery. This is a way for us as a club to foster relationships and mentor opportunities for our club members with others in the community who also enjoy the sport," said Oliver.
Community and family are at the heart of Newberry JOAD Club's success, and are what Junior Olympic Archery Development is all about. For more on the Newberry JOAD Club, visit http://www.newberryjoadclub.org/
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