Archery competition in students' sights in New Brighton

March 8, 2012 5:36 am

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A group of students from New Brighton Area High School are aiming for the bull's-eye.

The students are members of the school's Deer Valley Archers club and will be competing Friday against 22 other schools at the Pennsylvania National Archery in the Schools program state tournament at Penn State.

The team has been competing in the tournament for the past few years, but this is the first year it will be competing as the Deer Valley Archers.

Kim Lewis, physical education teacher at New Brighton Area High School, formed the club after noticing the interest that the sport sparked in some of her students.

This year she will accompany 24 students to the state competition along with three student archers from neighboring Beaver Area High School.

Mrs. Lewis said she chose to add archery to her curriculum four years ago because it is a lifetime sport in which people of all ages and fitness levels can participate and do well. She said it is particularly important for young people to learn because it gets them outside and is a way for them to remain active their whole lives.

Junior Ashton Gordon, 16, agreed.

"You can carry this skill all your life," he said. "It's something you can just pick up and do once you know how to do it. I think that's a good thing."

This is Ashton's third year to be involved in the sport, and he said it has been nice to have archery as an option in gym class.

To bring it to the school, Mrs. Lewis was required to attend the NASP Basic Archery Instructor Training Program and receive certification. The school purchased compound bows, and now all students in grades 9 through 12 have the opportunity to shoot at bull's-eye targets in their gymnasium during gym class.

"I try to encourage all of them to at least try it because it is a little bit scary at first. They are real bows and real arrows, so it can be intimidating," Mrs. Lewis said. "But once they shoot a couple of times, you can see their confidence rising. It's kind of neat to see that."

Shannon M. Nass, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.
First Published 2012-03-08 04:37:20

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