Archery in the Schools
"At first I didn't do good, I missed the target, but now, no problem." says Hunter. "At the beginning of the year, I couldn't hardly shoot at all, but then I started practicing every week, I went to my coach's room and practiced during lunch and I eventually got better." says Emily.
Now these two hard working students are pretty good and will only get better. This kind of effort pays off, and more and more kids are taking advantage of what's become a wildly successful program.
George Coleman, the archery coach at Beckley-Stratton Middle School, says The Archery In The Schools program is top notch. "In 27 years of teaching, this is probably one of the best programs I've ever seen come down. Every kid can participate, no matter how big or small they are. It's an individual thing and a team thing, so they can excel as individuals and as a team. You don't have a lot of the pressure other sports have to win."
It's also a lot of fun to spend some time shooting bows with your buddies. For many of these kids, that's the draw, hanging out with other students. "I think they get a sense of belonging, they belong to a group and that's real important at their age, especially in middle school. With the high school, I think it's the same thing. I've got guys on this team that don't belong to any other team or group." says Coleman.
George says his group continues to grow, from 60 three years ago, to nearly three times that many now. That kind of growth in this program forced organizers to move the state championships to the Charleston Civic Center for the first time, just so they could hold everyone who came out to compete and to cheer.
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