Archery in the Schools

When the National Archery in the Schools Program began in 2002 as a local program in a handful of  Kentucky schools, no one foresaw the mushrooming success that lay ahead. The program soon went national (more than 40 state’s have schools participating in the NASP) and then international.

When the national NASP tournament convenes in Louisville, Ky., May 6-8, more than 3,000 high, middle and elementary school students will be in attendance.

But why wait? That many will file into Louisville’s International Convention Center next week (March 22-23) for the Kentucky state NASP tournament.

“We’ll have more than 3,000 students representing 140 Kentucky schools,” Kentucky state NASP coordinator Jennie Richardson.

That’s not all. Richardson says 340,000 Kentucky school kids compete in the archery program each school day as part of their school’s PE curriculum. That includes 920 schools. More than 500 of those have after school archery programs.

The program’s success has exceeded all expectations. What does this mean? Well, it doesn’t necessarily mean that schools are churning out the next generation of archery hunters. The NASP shoots Olympic style target archery. Kids may hunt and they may not. Hunting is neither pushed, promoted or discouraged.

It does means that physical education programs can be fun and provide something that many kids desperately need: A vehicle to succeed. Kids who might not be able to dunk (or dribble) a basketball, catch a football, block a punt, hit a home run, throw a strike, field a ground ball, score a soccer goal or run down a fly ball and find success in archery. They can do it.

Find out more at