SSFC Archers on Target
Several students will be sharing their shooting skills on a state level after qualifying for the 2014 Indiana State National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) Tournament. Four students from Saints Francis & Clare qualified for the State Tournament, which will be held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds on March 22nd. This is an honor considering how many students compete across the state. Indiana NASP Coordinator, Tim Beck states, “We have shattered last year’s record with nearly 2,000 shooters attempting to qualify.”
This is the first year for the state competition for Archery Instructor, Sonny Moore. He entered students in his after school archery club for the state competition not knowing what type of results they would receive. He is very pleased with all of the students and their results. He began the program last spring after receiving a grant from the National Wildlife and Turkey Federation. Archery is something Moore is familiar with, as an avid sportsman himself. He is familiar with the skills, determination, and commitment it takes to perform well in the sport.
Moore says archery is more than a sport. It helps in the classroom as well. “It is something for athletes of all calibers. It also translates well into classroom and academic behavior,” says the 5th grade teacher. He sees the concentration, focus and perseverance skills learned in archery being put to use in the classroom and believes it gives the students skills that can be used in class. “Sometimes classwork can be difficult when learning a new concept. I see the kids using their focus and perseverance and they know there is a pay off in the end. It may not be a bullseye but rather successfully putting a new concept into use.”
Sixth grader Elliana Aleski is thrilled with her accomplishment. “Archery is an exciting sport. It takes skill to stay calm, focus and not get your heart rate too high as you are about to shoot. It takes a lot of practice.” Aleski is the only girl of the 4 qualifying participants. “It is just like any other sport, it takes practice and determination and when you hit a bullseye, there is nothing like it. It is so exciting!”
Aleski had no other experience with archery until the club began last year. She saw it at a previous camp but never really picked it up until the program was offered at school. Alex Nettles, another qualifier, said he has only played around with Nerf guns but not archery. Nettles explains, “It sounded interesting so I tried it and liked it. I think it is cool that we can do this sort of thing at school.”
Aleski wants to see how far she can go with her new found archery skills. She didn’t talk of the National contest that would follow the state contest. She continues, “I think it is a great accomplishment to go to state. I just want to see how it is and see how far I can go, then I will see what I can do in a couple of years.“ Aleski has long range plans of sticking with the newfound sport for at least a few more years.