Louisville, KY - -(Ammoland.com)- The 2014 NASPR National Tournament concludes with 10,443 student archers setting a new Guinness World Record.
The event breaks its own record of 9,426 established last year. These 4th–]12th graders represent 665 schools in 39 states.
An archery parent from the Pocahontas archery team in Pocahontas County, WV says, “You have more archers in this one competition than live in our entire county!”
The event is held annually within the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.
These young archers had to first make their school’s archery team and then advance through regional and state tournaments to attend the 2014 Nationals in Louisville.
Valerie Sanders said, “My 5th grade son came from Hankinson, North Dakota for the 2nd year in a row. He shot his personal best score on Saturday. He was so excited. This is such a great program.”
Because NASP requires every team to contain at least 4 students of both genders 45%, of the contestants were female. The most represented grade levels at the tournament were 5th and 8th grade at 16% each of the total archers. Kentucky sent the most archers with 2,786 shooters. Indiana was second with 970 archers and Ohio 3rd of the 39 states with 872 students. Traveling the furthest were 32 archers from Alaska.
Attending the NASP Nationals for the first time was Robert Geronimo from New Mexico’s Mescalero Apache Reservation School attend the tournament for the first time. Young Robert, a High School senior, is the great, great grandson of the famous Native American Chief “Geronimo”!
The top 3 reasons students give for enjoying the National Archery in the Schools ProgramR were evident during the 3–]day tournament. They were having great fun, enjoying new archery friends, and loving that kids of all sizes, genders, abilities, and backgrounds were enjoying success. A parent, Rechelle related this about her daughter,
‘Katey shoots with her brother. Her special developmental and motor challenges make it difficult for her to participate in other sports. She started with a ZERO score in January. At Nationals she shot a 155! She was the most proud we have ever seen her. So happy we had to remind her to walk from the targets because she was skipping with joy!”
New at this years NASPR Nationals was the launch of the NASPR/IBO 3D Challenge. The Challenge is a different kind of archery game involving simulated (foam) big game animals provided by Rinehart Targets. The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) sponsored each of the range’s wild turkey targets. We hope to recruit similar sponsorships for the Stone Sheep, Whitetail Deer, Pronghorn Antelope, and Black Bear in the future.
A total of 2,004 of the NASP National contestants also participated in this 3D competition. This event is a partnership between the International Bowhunting Organization (IBO) and NASP to provide a “next step” for NASP archers who want to shoot 3D (61% when surveyed) and learn more about bowhunting (56%). The archers use the same equipment, at the same but unmarked distances, and follow identical safety protocols they have learned in NASP classes at school.
Missouri’s Joan Kriska said this about the 3D event, “The 3D shoot was so much fun for the kids! My 4th and 5th graders loved shooting alongside the kids from South Carolina. They talked about their accents the whole evening and weekend!”
It is expected this format will be incorporated into many state tournaments starting in 2015. IBO’s Executive Director, Bryan Marcum reported that he and his volunteers, from as far away as Florida, enjoyed watching and hearing the students’ enthusiasm for 3D archery.
It took nearly 160 volunteers to conduct these record-sized tournaments. They came from all walks of life including; parents, teachers, bowhunters, and church members. Cabelas and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation helped feed and cloth (vests) the volunteers. The new Louisville Cabelas store gave every coach discount coupons to provide equipment for their teams. Academy Sports + Outdoors provided gift cards to the volunteers as well.
The world’s largest archery tournament requires the biggest archery ranges, supplies, awards, and souvenirs. Sponsors included: Mathews Archery, Mission Archery, Morrell Targets, Gordon Composites, Easton Foundations, Easton Technical Products, NWTF, RMEF, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Field Logic, Rinehart Targets, EA Promotions, ATA, KY Army National Guard, Lancaster Archery, BCY, SCI, and Plano. Some of these and other supporters sponsored $77,000 in scholarships.