Coming to a school near you: archery

Archery is showing up in more and more physical education classes at Minnesota schools as a result of an ongoing effort by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Last year, through the National Archery in the Schools program, the DNR provided 50 schools with money to purchase state-of-the-art archery gear and trained teachers in archery instruction. Nearly 10,000 students across the state were introduced to archery. DNR officials hope to double that participation in the coming year.

Archery is often not offered in schools due to expense, safety concerns, and teacher inexperience, according to Ryan Bronson, the program coordinator for the DNR. When the sport is accessible, however, it appeals to young people of both genders and of varying athletic abilities. Individuals may shoot recreationally, competitively, or for hunting.

A recent survey of schools participating in the National Archery in the Schools program found that a high percentage of students liked archery and felt better about themselves after practicing.