High School Students Learn Archery in PE Class
In the downstairs gym at the high school, physical education teacher Sean Mack can be heard saying, “the range is hot, pick up the quiver, make sure the fletching is placed correctly.” This new vocabulary seems second nature to the high school students. Students line bows, draw their bows, aim and fire.
The archery unit is new in high school physical education classes this year. Athletic Director, and head of the physical education department, Tim Wagoner said, “thanks to a grant from the NYS Department of Environmental Convservation we were able to get the teachers trained in the summer. The DEC also loaned us the equipment for archery, so we did not have additional strains to our budget to do this unit.”
The National Archery in the Schools Program, (NASP) is a cooperative effort between state conservation departments, school systems and private organizations to help engage young citizens in outdoor activities and participate in the enduring sport of archery. The program promotes student education, physical education, and lifelong participation in archery. Since its inception in March 2002, more than 4 million students at over 8,500 schools located in 47 states and 5 countries have participated in NASP. New York was the 44th state to implement the program and school participation continues to grow each year. To read more about the NASP program click here.
Student Jason Carr said, “I do archery at home sometimes so it’s fun doing it here. The aim is the most difficult. It’s something new to do in PE class instead of run around and play games. I feel more motivated to participate and do well in PE class.”
Liza Antonova echoed Jason’s enthusiasm. Liza said, “I like that this unit is more relaxed. I like that because we have a small class we can practice more. Mr. Mack allows us to come in during learning block to practice which is nice of him.”
Mr. Mack said, “It is important to diversify our curriculum and offer different sports so that all students can be engaged. Female students as well as male students have been really enjoying this unit. Archery is so popular that students are asking me to come in during learning block to practice. Next fall, we hope to take this unit outside. I am pleased with the success and popularity of this unit. We want kids to think of PE as a place to learn activities and skills they can do throughout their life.”
There are several archery clubs in schools across NYS. Students in these clubs can even participate in “virtual tournament.” The hope is that Cortland High School will form an archery club next year! Click here for more information on virtual archery tournaments in NYS.