By Brittany Jones
Nashville, TN -(AmmoLand.com)- Every May, students gather from around the United States to compete in the National Archery in the Schools Program’s (NASP) national tournament at Louisville, KY.
Having spent all year practicing at school and home to hone their craft, they attend this highly anticipated and world’s largest archery tournament hoping to place with top honors. NASP has long been accredited with helping students gain confidence all the while, participating in a sport they enjoy. Additionally, NASP also aids many students with their higher education goals by awarding cash scholarships to the top teams, and individual male and female winners.
NASP awarded $159,000 dollars of scholarships at this years nationals. Cash scholarships were given to both teams and individuals. Each member of the first through third place high school teams was awarded $1000, $750, and $500 in scholarship money. With each team consisting of twenty-four student archers, $54,000 in cash scholarships were provided by Academy Sports and Outdoors, NASP, and American Whitetail Targets.
To be awarded an individual scholarship, the top five male and female archers, out of 12,897 competitors in the 2016 nationals, compete in a shoot-off witnessed by an audience consisting of thousands of parents, teaches, coaches, and peers. Each shoot-off archer launches five arrows for practice, and five for score, from the fifteen-meter shooting line. It is expected every year that two or three archers will remain tied after the initial 5-arrow group. This was the case at this year’s tournament. The “tied” archers then shot a single arrow at the same target for the tiebreaker. Of course, the archer whose arrow is closest to the center of the target breaks the tie. Both first place male and female archers were awarded $20,000, second place archers were awarded $15,000, third place $10,000, fourth place $5,000, and the fifth place boy and girl each received $2,500 in scholarship funds.
David Machart, a senior at Anamosa High School in Iowa, placed second among male students, winning a whopping $15,000 scholarship.
When asked how it felt to win such a prestigious award, he had this to say, “Winning the scholarship is a financial relief. I have been saving, but this sure helps out.”
David plans on attending Kirkwood Community College for two years and then transfer to Iowa State University to pursue a degree in Agricultural Business.
“I plan on shooting archery in college, and someday hope to be one of the top shooters in Vegas, at the NFAA’s Archery Festival,” says Machart.
Rowan McAllister, another senior who attends St. Croix Preparatory Academy in Minnesota, placed first among the top five females.
“Winning the $20,000 scholarship was incredible. It not only showed me what I could accomplish, but it spoke to archery’s influence on the community.”
When asked how NASP has influenced her life, she said, “NASP has given me the ability to participate in a unique sport in high school, meet new people, and find a community of people who share my archery interests.”
Rowan is set to attend Clark University in Worchester, Massachusetts in the fall.
Of course, without donating sponsors, NASP scholarship efforts would be non-existent. Donors of the individual scholarships include Mathews Archery and Gordon Composite who both donated twenty thousand in scholarship money. Morrell Targets and Plano Manufacturing gave fifteen thousand. Saunders Archery and Field Logic gifted ten thousand. BCY and New Archery Products donated five thousand, and covering the fifth place boys and girls, Lancaster Archery and NEET Archery each contributed twenty-five hundred dollars in scholarship funds.
Since its inception, NASP has given a total of $926,000 in cash scholarships to deserving archers at national, state, and provincial (CA) tournaments. One of the newest and largest donors to the scholarship program is the Cabela’s Outdoor Fund. Scholarship awards are set to increase in 2017, to nearly $1.5 million. These scholarship awards are not dependent upon which institution the student chooses to attend. The money may be used for whatever post-secondary education choice the student makes. Some have gone on to university, college, fashion, tech school, and even military education.
Of course, post-secondary bound seniors are not the only student archers who benefit from these scholarships.
Ashlie Garrison, an eighth grader at Castle North Middle School in Indiana says, “I’m undecided on a specific college right now, NASP has given me something I’m good at, and it felt amazing to be one of the top placers and scholarship winners at the tournament this year!”
Tom Patterson, NASP´s coach of the year, with Trigg County High School in Cadiz, Kentucky related how even a $500 scholarship can motivate students. He related how on the way home from a tournament last year one of his students sat next to him on the bus ride home.
Tom said, “The student described how he had not even given going to college a 2nd thought. But, after winning a scholarship he wanted to discuss the possibilities.”
Roy Grimes, President, of NASP responded to this saying, “While $500 might not make much of a dent in the cost of higher education, but it can certainly birth a dream.”
A big congratulation goes to all the winners at the 2016 NASP tournament! As this year comes to a close, students are now preparing for the Louisville nationals, 2nd weekend of May 2017.
Of course, for any further information regarding NASP tournaments and results, you can visit www.nasptournaments.org.
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.