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January 19, 2010

USA Archery Awarded Easton Foundations Grant

USA Archery announced Tuesday that the Easton Foundations have awarded a grant of over $500,000 for 2010 in support of USA Archery and its programs. The grant is allocated for team and staff travel to international events, event management and presentation; Resident Athlete and Junior Dream Team support; coach education and training; and JOAD program development.

"On behalf of all USA Archery members we thank the Easton Foundations for their generous support again in 2010," said Denise Parker, USA Archery CEO. "This financial commitment from the Easton Foundations allows us to sustain the momentum created in 2009 of reestablishing USA Archery as a premier leader worldwide.  It also accelerates our long-range vision of fielding a competitive team for the 2012 Olympic Games in London and broadening the base of archers across the country."

"The Easton Foundations are proud to continue to be a major supporter of USA Archery and their efforts to grow archery and continually improve the skills of our competitive archers," said Greg Easton, Easton Foundations Board Member.

A major initiative for USA Archery is to maintain and increase the development of youth athletes and programs. This includes sending both the Junior Dream team and the Junior USAT team to a 2010 COPARCO world ranking event. USA Archery began investing in JOAD last year by hiring JOAD Coordinator, Diane Watson.  The Easton Foundation's funding will enable USA Archery to create and execute additional program support materials and provide travel support for the coordinator position.

The Junior Dream Team camp program has proven successful and USA Archery will be able to host four camps during the calendar year. In 2009, 10 of the total 12 possible slots for the Youth World Championships were earned by Junior Dream Team members. Additionally, 13 Junior Dream Team Members were ranked in the top 10 in the men's and women's senior divisions at the close of 2009.

The next step for a competitive archer from the Junior Dream Team is joining the resident athlete program at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center in California. The Easton Foundations grant will support these athletes in providing an opportunity to compete at an international event in 2010. The resident athletes have shown more success in 2009 than any previous year, which included 14 top 10 finishes at international competitions and 30 top 4 placements in USAT ranking events.

"There are a handful of some really talented archers who are emerging and may even be prepared for the London Olympics," said Parker. "It is imperative that these athletes get the needed international experience to prepare for international level competitions.

"With Easton Foundations' support, USA Archery is now able to send full teams, including a professional coaching staff, to nearly all of the World Cup events this next year to gain valuable competitive experience for both athletes and coaches," said Parker. "With the ability to compete in so many events as a team, we will be able to build synergy and strategy among both the athletes and coaches leading in to the World Championships in 2011."

For a summary of all team funding and associated requirements, please see High Performance Manager, Robby Beyer's blog outlining the funding and team plan for 2010.

USA Archery identified a major initiative for 2010 to increase the overall quality and professionalism of national events. The Easton Foundations will help fund this critical program area as national events are open for all USA Archery members. The Easton Foundations will help USA Archery provide a tournament "kit" that includes quality tournament equipment to ship to all national events.

The Easton Foundations are also providing the expertise in training a tournament staff team who will be responsible in operating the Danage scoring and results system. The Danage scoring system ensures consistent and instantaneous scoring and results, and is more in line with international events standards.

"By supporting our organizers in increasing the overall quality and presentation of our national events, we expect to attract more participation and sponsors at FITA-style events," Parker said.

The Eason Foundations were established in 1984 by Jim Easton, a longtime supporter of USA Archery and former president of FITA. The goal of the foundation is to educate and expose as many people as possible to the lifetime sport of archery; to create a program that allows young archers to improve their skills; and to establish a seamless path of training so an archer's ambition to become an Olympic archer can be achieved.

In 2009, the Easton Foundations were successful in completing and opening Archery Centers of Excellence in Yankton, S.D. and Newberry, Fl. The Foundation's plan is to open additional archery centers in 2010 and beyond.

"The overall vision that Jim Easton and Greg Easton have for archery is exemplary to the overall development of archers and the sport of archery throughout the world," said Parker. "USA Archery is thankful for the support and leadership the Easton family and company has provided over the years."

About Easton Foundations: A primary goal of The Easton Foundations is to promote the sport of archery and develop competitive Olympic archery efforts that create a clear path for skilled young archers to reach the goal of being an Olympic champion.  The Easton Foundations award grants annually to clubs, programs, schools, colleges and organizations that propose archery-related plans and/or projects that promote the overall development of archery as a mainstream sport and help it to grow at the state, regional and national levels. The Easton Foundations support Olympic Archery in Schools (OAS) and Olympic Archery in Colleges, where the initiative is to initiate archery as a part of a physical education curriculum, after-school activity or club. . The Easton Foundations also provide assistance to several high-level programs and organizations that include USA Archery, the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., and the U.S. Collegiate Archery Program. For more information about the Easton Foundations visit www.eastonfoundations.org.

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