TPWD News Release — March 9, 2006
AUSTIN, Texas — More than 120 student archers from 13 public, private and charter schools descended on Temple Feb. 24 for the first annual Texas Archery in Schools Program tournament. Students from Holloway Middle School, Grandview ISD, Wimberly Junior High and Crockett High School took top honors.
The tournament was sponsored by the Texas Field Archery Association, and complete results may be found on that organization’s web site.
The tournament kicked-off a national program formally adopted in Texas Feb. 1. Groundwork for the TASP was laid in September 2004 when the first 17 trainers and six educators were trained. To date, 222 Texas educators have been trained.
Additional free training classes for educators are slated for venues around the state beginning in April.
The program is a joint venture of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Education Agency and is focused on providing Olympic-style target archery training in K-12 physical education classes.
“We hope the TASP program will accomplish a number of things,” said Steve Hall, TPWD education director. “Archery is a sport that is accessible to all students, and studies have shown that students who are involved in extra-curricular activities are much less likely to drop out of school. In other states, the program has been shown to improve kids’ self-esteem and engagement in school, and we believe that many of the participants will go on to become bow hunters and supporters of wildlife conservation.”
In Kentucky, the first state to adopt the program, 315 (one-quarter) of the state’s schools have adopted the program. The 2004 National Archery in the Schools Program championship, held in Louisville, attracted 1,291 student shooters.
In addition to Texas, 35 other states have adopted the program.
With more than two dozen national sponsors, the National Archery in the Schools program provided free equipment kits to instructor trainers to get the program kick started in Texas. Through a Community Outdoor Outreach Program Grant, the Texas Hunter Education Instructor’s Association donated free training kits to ten pilot schools in 2005 and 2006 to help with implementation and evaluation of the program. Training is free to educators, but there may be a minimal cost to those who wish to offer training to educators. Reservations are required.
Upcoming TPWD staff-led training workshops include:
Basic Archery Instructor (formerly Level I NASP)
Basic Archery Instructor Trainer I (Formerly Level II NASP)
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