By: Brittany J. Jones
Nashville, TN -(AmmoLand.com)- Try on these shoes: Imagine you are shooting five arrows for $20,000. You aren’t an adult professional archer, but a high school student.
Nearly 3,000 friends, family, and strangers are looking on. Some are rooting for you and some are for the archer standing five feet to your left or right. This is the scenario faced by the top five boys and top five girls each year, during the awards ceremony at the NASP National Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky.
For more than 10 years, NASP has been affording student archers opportunity to pay for post high school, college, university, or trade school education expenses. Scholarship winners are determined during the awards ceremony as the top 5 boys and top 5 girls each shoot another 5 arrows for score, at 15 meters. These ten archers were chosen from among the 12,045 participants at the 2015 NASP Nationals. After the 2015 shoot-off, each boy and girl in 1st place was awarded $20,000 in cash scholarship, the 2nd place pair each received $15,000, 3rd place earned $10,000, 4th place $5,000, and the 5th place boy and girl were awarded $2,500. This amounted to a total of $105,000 in cash scholarships awarded to ten archers.
By the way, these aren't scholarships contingent on going to specific, pre-selected institutions. The student chooses the college and NASP sends the scholarship check. In addition to scholarships awarded at NASP Nationals, another 15 states and provinces awarded cash scholarships at their respective state and provincial NASP championships this year.
NASP provided up to $5,000 in matching dollars to 13 of these 15 jurisdictions. In total, $244,000 in cash scholarships were awarded to NASP student archers this year. Bradley Long, a junior who attends Madison Central High in Richmond, KY, was the grateful recipient of a $20,000 scholarship, the highest scholarship given at the 2015 NASP tournament.
“Mom, I was thinking during the shoot off, that if I could just win it, you wouldn’t have to worry about college expenses,” says Long.
Other winners in the male category were; Christian Blair — $15,000 David Machart – $10,000 Michael Downs – $5,000 and Miles Wilson received $2500.
In the female category, Sydney Vivian earned first place.
When asked how she felt about shooting the $20,000 arrows, she replied, “I knew I had won as I walked to the target and saw my arrow. As I walked back, Coach Jellison had the biggest smile on his face I had ever seen. It was great, and I will never forget it.”
Another $15,000 went to Marissa Phillips, $10,000 to Michelle Boyken, $5,000 to Sarah Shipley, and Sophie Klienman earned $2,500.
More money! The NASP/ IBO 3D Challenge awarded $24,500 in scholarships at the NASP Nationals as well. One interesting twist among the “challenge” scholarships was that each team member of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams (36 total students) received scholarships. These organizations contributed to the “3D Challenge” scholarships: Whitetails Unlimited, Quality Deer Management Association, Rinehart Targets, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, and the National Wild Turkey Federation.
Kids from all over the United States are excelling and enjoying the sport of archery. Thanks to NASP, their post-high school education plans are aided by doing the very thing they love.
Many organizations contribute to the non-profit NASP to build the scholarship fund. Certain companies help NASP throughout the year but also contribute dollars directed specifically to the scholarship program. These include; Mathews Archery, Gordon Composites, Plano Molding, Morrell Targets, Saunders Archery, Field Logic, New Archery Products, BCY, Lancaster Archery, and NEET.
At NASP’s June 26, 2015 board meeting NASP directors agreed to increase the scholarship program again in 2016. At NASP Nationals next year, a team category will be added to bring total scholarship cash to $159,000. Additionally, NASP will offer to match up to $10,000 per NASP state or province. These increases will move NASP towards its eventual goal of awarding $1,000,000 in annual scholarships.
NASP has long been known for building confidence, teaching sportsmanship and team-work, providing a new cherished hobby, and finally education.
According to Sydney Vivian, the top female shooter, “When I was in fourth grade, picking up a bow is something I never imagined I would do. Archery is fun to me because of my team and coaches. The challenge makes me a better archer.”
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About National Archery in the Schools Program
The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) promotes student education, physical education and participation in the lifelong sport of Archery. The mission of NASP is to promote international-style target archery as part of the in-school curriculum, to improve educational performance and participation in the shooting sports among students in grades 4-12.
For more information, please visit www.NASPSchools.org.