New Archery Education Pilot Program

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Gov. Bob Wise today announced a new partnership between several state agencies, private organizations and sponsors to introduce a pilot archery education program into 18 middle and high school physical education programs across the state.

The program is called “West Virginia 's Archery in the Schools Program” and is designed as a two-week curriculum modeled after a similar program in Kentucky and other states. The pilot program will provide physical education students with an opportunity to become involved in a life skill that has no barriers.

“Unlike many activities, boys and girls of all sizes can easily be involved in archery,” Wise said. “We're starting small with 18 participating schools, but we intend to expand during the next few years. Our neighbors in Kentucky started with just 21 schools in 2002 and now has expanded to 190 schools. We think we can match or exceed that success.”

Earlier this year, two DNR wildlife representatives, Scott Warner and Dave McClung, along with Randy Eppling of the West Virginia Bowhunters Association, were trained by the National Archery Association as Level II instructors, and they will train physical education instructors at the pilot schools during the next few months. During the training, the teachers will learn about archery history, safety, shooting form, and competition. Each school will receive an archery kit consisting of 10 bows, five targets, safety netting, arrows and related equipment.

“Each kit costs approximately $2,000 and will be purchased by our partners and what we hope will be a growing list of sponsors,” said Wise.

Schools participating in “West Virginia's Archery in the Schools Program” pilot project during the current academic year are: Braxton County High School, Braxton County Middle School, Chapmanville Middle School, Clay-Battelle High School, Duval High School, Elkins High School, Elkview Middle School, Harman Elementary/High School, Morgantown High School, Parkersburg South High School, Ravenswood High School, Ripley High School, Sissonville Middle School, Trinity High School, Tygart's Valley Middle/High School, University High School, Wahama High School and Wyoming County East High School.

Sponsors include: Gary 's Sporting Goods, International Bowhunting Organization, Parker Bows, Stateline Hunt Club, Warner Law Offices, WV Bowhunters Association, WV Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, WV Department of Education, WV Department of Education and the Arts and WV Division of Natural Resources.

“As the competition for our kids' attention increases, it's important we expose them to the joy of pulling a bowstring and hearing that satisfying sound of the arrow hitting a target,” said DNR Director Ed Hamrick. “I want to thank the partners who already supported our efforts, and I encourage sponsorship from anyone else who wants to make sure our sporting heritage is passed on to the next generation.”

Other states that have started the archery education program this year include Alabama , Arizona and Georgia .

For more information about “ West Virginia 's Archery in the Schools Program,” contact Scott Warner or Dave McClung at the WV Division of Natural Resources, (304) 558-2771 or e-mail wildlife@dnr.state.wv.us .