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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, Col. -- USA Archery’s (USAA) Event Development Manager Brad Fiala has a keen perspective when it comes to archery competition. Fiala grew up as a JOAD archer and was an All-American while at James Madison University (JMU). With a strong archery background and passion for the sport, USAA was a perfect fit for Brad who started as a staff member in 2017.
Originally from Chatham, NJ, Fiala’s mother was instrumental in her son’s development as an athlete. “My mom was director of a day camp where I started shooting as soon as I could walk,” explained Fiala. His mother later went on to found a USAA Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) club, New Jersey School of Archery, where Fiala built his skills.
Fast forward to the present day, Fiala focuses on growing local, state and virtual event opportunities. One of his goals is to expand indoor and outdoor state championships to all fifty states. “It is a balance of working with trusted partners to build and professionalize their events while at the same time seeking new hosts and educating them about best practices and the events sanctioning process,” said Fiala. “It's a year-round task to help produce quality indoor and outdoor events for our members. I enjoy speaking with club leaders to show them how events can grow their archery footprint and positively impact their community.”
As part of USAA’s event expansion plan, Fiala is working to set up infrastructure and support for championship-level events including consistent scoring software, event format, and awards. “We hope to provide a state championship level event experience that will prepare our athletes for the indoor and outdoor national and USAT series events,” he stated.
Ultimately, events provide key membership benefits, support the athlete development pipeline, and help to support the expansion of the organization's programming, outreach and education. “Events are the culmination of a training period for many athletes,” remarked Fiala. “Additionally, you are guaranteed an opportunity to make new friends with your target mates and fellow archers.”
Fiala’s passion for community was inspired by fellow JMU alum and former USAA National Team member, Robert Ryder. “Bob Ryder taught me the value of building a community through archery,” said Fiala. “Over the course of hosting more than 50 national events, Bob has had a tremendous amount of influence on archers of all ages. He makes his tournaments seem like part archery, part family reunion! Bob showed me that caring for others and treating people how you'd like to be treated is a sure way that archers will return to shoot your events and show their support.”
In his downtime, Fiala enjoys exploring Colorado with his teenage son, and competing in cycling, mountain biking, running and disc golf events. “I like to compare similarities in events of all types. Successful events can most often be attributed to the dedication of the volunteers!”
Fiala encourages all USAA members to stay involved with their local and state-level archery activities, and to thank a volunteer!
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