The sport of archery does not care about your age, size, or athletic ability. It truly is what many would call a “universal sport”.
Educators are always looking for new ways to enrich the lives of their students and it can often be a significant challenge for schools to find activities that every student can participate in. Very few sports can accommodate every student, so quite often some are left out of certain activities. This is where archery comes in — every student can shoot a bow and arrow. By introducing archery to a school’s Phys-ed curriculum, students are enjoying a new physical activity and learning very important life skills through the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP). Archery teaches motivation, focus, discipline, and mathematics. The life skills learned from archery will be used by the students in all aspects of their lives — which is something that as a life-long archer, I can attest to personally.
The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) originated in Kentucky in 2002 and since that time, more than 18 million kids have shot a bow and arrow during their daily classes. Ten different countries now offer NASP as a curriculum-based activity, with more than 28,000 schools participating worldwide. In August of 2014, the OFAH proudly became the official NASP provider for schools in Ontario and a month later 10 schools participated in our pilot program. It wasn’t long before the benefits of this program were recognized across the province — in just seven short years the OFAH-led program is now running more than 170 Ontario schools. and throughout the province, there are over 750 certified NASP instructors teaching this great sport.
NASP is an incredibly well-thought-out program, with equipment specifically designed to maintain the program’s perfect safety record. The program is also very structured as the whistle commands, the distances shot, and the equipment used is identical at every NASP school. That way, when your school competes in the provincial NASP Championships, students can participate with confidence.
NASP bows are designed so a grade 4 student and a grade 12 student can share the same bow without making any adjustments to it. Just pass it to the next shooter. The arrows are made with the strongest aluminum possible, virtually eliminating arrow shaft damage and the targets are designed for that specific bow and arrow combination. NASP equipment is very high quality, and a school will get years of service before things need to be replaced, which isn’t always the case with other sports and the equipment required to participate.
INTERESTED IN BRINGING NASP TO YOUR SCHOOL?
With over 5,000 schools in Ontario, the sky is the limit for NASP in our province. Just imagine the impact on the sport of archery when 50,000 kids a year are shooting bows and arrows in their school gyms. Go to www.ofah.org/nasp for more information about the program and how to bring it to your school. I am the OFAH NASP coordinator, so you can also contact me directly at 705-748-6324 ext. 235 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.