More coaches wanted after Alexandria’s junior archery program doubles in number – Alexandria Echo Press

The Alexandria Schools National Archery Program has made a big jump in participation this season at the junior high level.

It’s part of NASP’s mission – to give as many boys and girls in grades 6-12 of all abilities the opportunity to experience archery. But it also put Alexandria’s coaching staff in a tough spot in that they would need more help.

“Part of the problem is just equipment,” said Alexandria junior archery coach Jim Stratton. “We had enough bows for our 30 children, but now, with double that, they have to share the bows. We’re probably going to have to buy 25, 30 more bows just to cover what we’ve grown this year, and we need interested adults, male or female, who know a little about archery. We will train them in NASP techniques. This is the easy part. The hard part is being able to teach 30 kids on a line and giving everyone the time they deserve so they can improve. We need some extra looks at the troops so to speak.

A large group of girls and boys take aim at their targets during Alexandria High School archery practice on January 4, 2022. Contributor photo

Alexandria’s junior high program has grown from 26 children last year to nearly 60 now. Like trap shooting in the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League, NASP teams rely on volunteer coaches to work with kids, and mostly on donations to help buy equipment like targets as they grow. wear and the Genesis bows they use to compete.

The junior high program in Alexandria currently has three coaches. Stratton said they could easily use two more.

“What’s really cool about it is that we opened it up to grade 6 last year, and we probably got 10,” Stratton said. “This year, we have 26 6th graders and half of them are girls. If you look at our line, it’s not all boys. There is a high percentage of girls on this line.

Alan Hansen, one of the coaches for the Alexandria High School archery program, said the numbers at the high school level remained flat from last year.

“We would like another coach or more at the high school level,” Hansen said. “What we need is someone with some archery experience.”

The NASP season kicked off Dec. 7 and runs Friday and Saturday, March 25-26, when the state tournament is scheduled for Duluth.

Alexandria trains on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings, with coaches arriving at the school around 6:45 a.m. and able to leave before 8 a.m. Alexandria Area High School is hosting an invite on March 5.

Stratton can be reached at 320-808-5096 if anyone wants more information on how he can help with the program.

“The message would be that if you are interested there are videos and help we can give them to get them to the point where they are confident enough to be able to give the young archer the help they need. ‘he really deserves it.’” Stratton said of the junior high program. “You don’t have to be this wonderful shooter. You may be someone who is interested in helping and willing to work with young children. We will give you the tools.

Earnest A. Martinez