Opryland Helps Fuel Nashville Archery

Opryland Helps Fuel Nashville Archery

From The Archery Trade Association

NEW ULM, Minn. - In a deal negotiated by the Archery Trade Association (ATA), Gaylord Opryland Hotel has donated $100,000 to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) and those funds are making it possible for thousands of Nashville area students to explore the sport of archery.

The funding, from the Gaylord Entertainment Foundation and provided through the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, was donated in $25,000 annual contributions. These contributions were a result of a negotiation between the ATA and Gaylord Entertainment. The negotiation was conducted with the intent to create funding for the TWRA and introduce archery to schools in the Nashville area.

Don Crawford, assistant chief of Information and Education for the TWRA, said the contributions provided the opportunity for the TWRA to initiate the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) in the Nashville area three years ago. It has since expanded and is now taught in 21 schools in the Nashville metro area of Davidson County and five schools in the Williamson-Davidson county area of Brentwood. The program is reaching some 5,200 students each year.

"We are proud to be a sponsor of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation's National Archery in the Schools Program," said Jacque Layfield of Gaylord Entertainment Foundation. "We are particularly interested in the future of arts, education and youth related organizations that have the most immediate and positive impact on the health and growth of our communities. Gaylord Entertainment Company supports a variety of organizations that help people improve the quality of their lives."

NASP is a joint venture between state departments of education and wildlife agencies that promotes student education, physical education, and participation in the life-long sport of archery for students in grades four through twelve. Participating schools must send at least one instructor to an 8-hour training course to become a certified archery instructor and teach the course in school.

"Cost for the NASP equipment is approximately $3,000 per school, which includes everything from bows and arrows to targets, bow racks, safety netting, and curriculum materials. The contributions made it possible to purchase the necessary equipment for the schools and allow students to try their hand at a popular new sport," Crawford said.

NASP is a first step in developing life-long archers and bowhunters, Crawford explained. After participating in NASP, the intent is for state agencies, local schools and park and recreation departments to partner in providing further opportunities for young people to continue their participation in archery and bowhunting.

"Archery is a sport that anyone of any age or physical ability can participate in and enjoy success," Crawford said. "Not everyone can do that with ball sports but they can with archery. The goal is for archery to become as available to youth in Tennessee as are sports like baseball, soccer, or tennis. It's all about engaging the unengaged, about getting kids off the couch and outdoors."

Michelle Doerr, director of archery and bowhunting programs for the ATA, said the future for archery programs in the Nashville area is trending upward. In addition to the Nashville initiative, the ATA has helped boost community archery in Tennessee through funding of the Montgomery County Shooting Complex near Clarksville, Tennessee. "Don really understands the strategies that are critical for implementing archery programs in schools and communities," Doerr said. "I'm confident we'll see archery continue to grow in popularity in Nashville, as well as the rest of the state, and the ATA looks forward to being a strong partner in that endeavor."

Statewide, nearly 200 schools in Tennessee participate in NASP.

For more information, contact Amy Hatfield at (803) 275-2257 or by e-mail at amyhatfield@archerytrade.org

About the ATA

Since 1953 ATA has been the trade association for manufacturers, retailers, distributors, sales representatives and others working in the archery and bowhunting industry. ATA is dedicated to making the industry profitable by decreasing business overhead, and reducing taxes and government regulation while increasing participation in archery and bowhunting. ATA owns and manages the ATA Trade Show, the archery and bowhunting industry's largest and longest running trade show worldwide. More information can be found at www.archerytrade.org.

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