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Lexington, S.C. - South Carolina has been a hub for archery growth in the last three years. Growing from 176 USA Archery members in 2019, to over 400 at the end of 2022, increased club leaders are leading the expansion.
Located in Lexington, South Carolina, Midlands Archery Center (MAC) has played an integral role in the state’s growth. Launched in 2019 by Teresa and Anibal ("Indy") Deliz, Midlands Archery Center was formed after being involved in the National Archery in the School Program (NASP®) for six years. The program’s first archers came from the NASP program as well.
Midlands had its first Explore Archery camp in the summer of 2020 with 11 participants and have held camps each summer since. This year, MAC will host a spring break Explore Archery camp as well. In addition, MAC also holds one-hour Explore Archery classes every month to introduce newcomers to archery and provide a solid foundation to advance to the Youth and Adult clubs.
Deliz commented, “The program utilizes the Explore Archery Instructor's Guide extensively and appreciates all the games and different schedule outlines that are included. For summer camps, students also earn the Explore Archery Achievement Awards. They really look forward to receiving their award at the end of each session, and proudly wear them to camp the next day!”
Utilizing these strategies has allowed Midlands to see classes and camps fill up quickly and also develop their athletes into next-step programs. Deliz stated, “Many of the camp and class participants have gone on to join the Youth or Adult clubs and have begun competing at various levels, including one of our original students who has received a college scholarship to shoot in the Collegiate Archery Program.”
Deliz shared, “One of the most frequent comments we receive is something similar to: thank you for offering this program; my son/daughter hasn't been able to find a sport they enjoy. Now they have a sport they love."
Midlands is also seeing an increase in adults interested in learning archery and competing. Deliz commented, “It's very rewarding to see the involvement from both youth and adults. We have also received positive feedback on the organization of the classes, for which I give credit to USA Archery for the excellent resources they provide.
“One of the most useful concepts I learned in coach training is the NTS "Software Steps". They are easy to remember, easy to practice and easy to memorize. The highlight of summer camp last year was watching a group of three girls who had become friends at camp reciting the steps, on their own initiative, as they shot together on the line during practice.”
Since 2019, Deliz estimates over 200 students have participated in the Explore Archery classes and camps. Interest in MAC archery programs currently exceeds coaching capacity. The club has certified new instructors from interested students and hopes to add more in the future to support continued growth and expansion.
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