Michigan Archery Academy a hit
The growing popularity of archery was in evidence on Sept. 21 and 22 at the Demmer Center in Lansing, Mich., when 30 adults participated in a 2-day workshop designed to prepare archery instructors, develop a variety of archery and bowhunting programs, and build archery facilities.
Sponsored by the Archery Trade Association (ATA), the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment, and the Easton Sports Development Foundation, the Archery Academy workshop is a recent initiative by the ATA to reach out to parks and recreation departments in an effort to help mainstream the sport.
Michelle Doerr, ATA director of archery and bowhunting programs, said the target audience for the workshops is park and recreation department staff members. “Teaching these folks and others about all aspects of archery means that more communities are considering making it a part of their other mainstream recreational activities, including summer and after-school programs.”
Academy goals include providing skills necessary to:
Michigan is the second state to take advantage of the program, Doerr said. The first Archery Academy was held in Houston last May. Fifteen area park and recreation departments participated in the Michigan workshop, along with representatives from 4-H, archery retail outlets and the Demmer Center; a facility supported by ATA funds. The next workshop is slated for Alabama in November.
“Over half of the Michigan participants had no prior experience with archery, so it was a good chance for us to find out what’s needed to get most communities started” Doerr said. Using participant feedback and discussions with Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment and Arizona Game and Fish Department, who also attended the workshop, ATA will work to refine Archery Academy so the association has a template that can be used in other states and be attractive to that state’s parks and recreation agency personnel.
In a head to head shoot-off, Delta Township, located west of Lansing and Thomas Township, near Saginaw, each won a full archery kit to get their programs started immediately. “Most participants indicated they plan on starting beginning and after-school archery programs in the next 12 months and many also hope to pursue archery facilities in their community” Doerr said. “With the continued work of Mary Emmons and the MI DNRE, we look forward to seeing how this effort will help expand archery throughout the state of Michigan.”
The Archery Academy is a joint program provided by the ATA and its members and made possible by a generous grant from the Easton Foundations. The ATA and Easton Foundations work together on a number of projects designed to grow archery and bowhunting participation. These growth projects would not be possible without the support of ATA members and the Easton Foundations.
Did You Know?
The ATA spent more than $15,000 to hire the services of a landscape architect to design archery parks and facilities for many state wildlife agencies.