Arrows to fly at State Fair Park

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About 1,200 students from across the state are scheduled to shoot almost 50,000 arrows March 23 at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Oklahoma National Archery in the Schools annual state shoot at the State Fair Park in Oklahoma City.
The students qualified for the state shoot by competing in regional archery events held in February, in which almost 2,000 students participated.
Over 250 schools across Oklahoma participate in the Oklahoma National Archery in the Schools Program (OKNASP), and more than 65 of those will bring students to compete in the state shoot after a season of practice and competition in their respective schools.
“Coaches have told me time and again that this program has helped every child see success. From the typical athletic student to the child that does not usually excel in most other sports, archery is allowing all students to compete on a level playing field,” said Justin Marschall, OKNASP coordinator for the Wildlife Department.
The number of students at the state and regional shoots reflect the growth of the OKNASP program during its seven years of existence.
“Due to the continued growth of the program we held regional qualifiers across the state to aid us in making the number of shooters at the state shoot more manageable,” Marschall said.
Coordinated by the Wildlife Department, OKNASP is part of the National Archery in the Schools Program. The program partners state wildlife agencies, schools and the nation’s archery industry to introduce students to the sport of archery. The Archery in the Schools curriculum is designed for 4th-12th graders and covers archery history, safety, techniques, equipment, mental concentration and self-improvement.
Medals and prizes will be awarded to top shooters in all categories. In addition, students participating in the state shoot have a chance to quality for the national tournament to be held May13-14 in Louisville, Ky.
For more information about Oklahoma National Archery in the Schools or the Wildlife Department, log on to www.wildlifedepartment.com