Explore Archery Poised to Ignite Growth

Posted by ATA Staff on May 16, 2014 in Archery Buzz, Archery Growth
About explore archery photo teamusa Photo: USA Archery

Explore Archery – a joint effort by USA Archery and the Archery Trade Association – will support ATA’s current outreach programs by introducing beginners to archery.

“In the past year Archery360.com, along with the Release Your Wild campaign, has engaged millions of people and now, with Explore Archery, our retailers will have something to offer them so they can get into archery,” said Jay McAninch, ATA CEO/President. “We love that Explore Archery has the breadth to be used in all sectors of communities yet has the depth to advance those who want to compete or go into bowhunting.”

Billed as “an innovative education program that introduces archery to beginners of all ages and abilities” that is “fun, safe, rewarding, and developmentally progressive,” Explore Archery offers an easy next step for archers who become interested in the sport through Release Your Wild, Archery360.com, and other outreach programs.

“Many people enjoy an introduction to archery through media, classes or programs, but aren’t sure how to continue with the sport,” said Jennifer Mazur, ATA’s coordinator of archery and bowhunting programs. “Explore Archery helps archers progress from beginner to intermediate and includes unconventional activities that encourage participants to think beyond shooting arrows at traditional targets.”

Mazur credited Emily Beach, ATA’s manager of education and curriculum development, for helping create a program retailers and archery shops can use to engage archers of any age. Shops can build programs around Explore Archery, which will encourage new customers to use the stores as resources for equipment and instruction.

Explore Archery is a low-cost, high quality turnkey programming option that offers a comprehensive Instructor's Guide, including a full curriculum packed with classroom activities, and award and games components to keep participants engaged and having fun. Program options include Try Archery Events, 1-Day Camps, 1-Week Camps, 6-Week Classes and Birthday Parties.

The program's unique achievement award component allows archers to earn awards through active participation in individual and team-building activities. The focus is on fundamental skills, a competitive edge, and a bit of creativity, versus natural athleticism or the ability to shoot a perfect score.

Park and recreation departments, camps, Scouting groups, 4-H clubs, state agencies and archery retailers are the intended market for Explore Archery, as well as existing archery clubs looking for a beginner programming option. USA Archery makes it easy to start an Explore Archery program, with just five easy steps.

In developing Explore Archery, USA Archery enlisted the help of a focus group, which provided ideas for activities and helped ensure the needs of community-based programs would be met. The focus group included: Ryan Barth, Three Rivers Park District; Mark Copeland, Jay’s Sporting Goods; John Corriveau, Thomas Township Parks and Recreation Department; Connie Elliot, Boy Scouts of America; Lee Ford, Paralympic Athlete; and Robert Jellison, Hartland Middle School.

Explore Archery was developed by USA Archery and the ATA with the support of the Easton Foundations. The National Field Archery Association (NFAA), National Archery in the Schools Program® (NASP), and the Archery Shooters Association (ASA) have also endorsed the new program.

Explore Archery was developed in response to the tremendous growth in archery over the past two years, fueled in part by bow-wielding Katniss Everdeen and “The Hunger Games” franchise. USA Archery has experienced a 72 percent membership surge in the past twelve months alone, and the ATA recently reported that 18.9 million Americans participate in archery.

“We hope that Explore Archery will serve as a foundation for the development of community based archery programs nationwide,” explained Denise Parker, USA Archery CEO. “We’re excited to grow a new generation of archers and Olympic, Paralympic and World Champion hopefuls at the grassroots level.”  

For more information, visit: http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Archery/Archers/Explore-Archery/Getting-Started.