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Our feature series “Inside USA Archery” allows readers to get to know USA Archery staff, take a peek inside some of our big projects and catch a glimpse of daily life on our team. USA Archery, headquartered in Colorado Springs, was formed in 1879 to foster and promote the sport of archery. As the National Governing Body for the Olympic and Paralympic sport of archery, we are a member-driven organization and our work towards our mission is driven by strategic plans that keep us on track with specific, measurable goals. Get to know our hard-working team and explore some of the larger projects we’re prioritizing throughout the year.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Archery’s Outreach Director Callie Grieser is coming up on her 10-year anniversary with the organization after she first joined in August 2012. With a Master’s in Sports Administration from University of Northern Colorado, Grieser’s start as the Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) Coordinator with USA Archery was a natural fit.
“I have a strong passion for sport and recreation-which really spurted my interest in this role. Growing up, playing sports, especially my club basketball team, is what my life revolved around. My family loves the outdoors – to hunt, hike, fish, ski and bike. Anytime we are spending time outside as a family is when I am the happiest,” said Grieser.
Over the years, Grieser has held many titles at USA Archery. Her series of roles ultimately evolved into the Outreach Director, where she directly oversees membership, clubs and related achievement award programs, Explore Archery, the Collegiate Archery Program and state championship events, among other growth initiatives.
As part of her collegiate outreach work, Grieser educates colleges and universities about offering archery as a varsity or club sport. “A lot of schools don’t know archery is even an option. So, we’re educating athletic departments about the fact that there are thousands of youth and high school archers out there that want to go to college and have this passion for the sport,” explained Grieser. “Ultimately, admission to college is a competitive space right now. So, educating colleges that they can use archery as a recruitment tool has been imperative for growth.”
With almost 100 club and varsity sport programs nationwide, collegiate archery events have boasted record-breaking turnouts including the most recent USA Archery Collegiate Target Nationals in Chula Vista, CA.
“We can directly attribute these numbers to the work and grant money that we’ve put towards growing the programs and especially expanding the youth and high school pipeline. Now that students have the opportunity to continue with collegiate archery, they’re doing it,” said Grieser.
Collegiate Target Nationals includes Grieser’s most fun day of the year at USA Archery: team rounds. Student-athletes dress up in fun outfits and cheer for their teammates in a battle of school spirit. “The environment is the best I see at any USA Archery event and the passion the archers have for their teammates is unmatched. I also always love seeing the fun team uniforms and getting a chance to visit with the archers and coaches not only about their experience within the program, but just connecting on a personal level with everyone,” shared Grieser.
In addition to youth archers continuing in the sport, many of the programs are attracting new archers. “There are a lot of benefits to the sport of archery that collegiate students find when they’re introduced to it. Stress relief, camaraderie, confidence, and so much more,” Grieser said. “We have a lot of dedicated and passionate coaches in this realm that have been around for a long time as well as newer coaches that are leading great programs. They’re fostering this passion within the students that’s truly contagious.”
One of Grieser’s favorite projects has been the Explore Archery program, which focuses on introducing beginners of all ages to the lifelong sport of archery. The program is fun, rewarding and developmentally progressive. “From a personal standpoint, the passion that has kept me involved for 10 years is providing recreational opportunities for all ages of individuals to improve their quality of life. For me that driving force has always been sports; and Explore Archery is a great way to introduce our sport to new audiences across the country,” said Grieser.
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