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Record number of students to compete in archery tournament

More than a thousand students are registered to compete in the 2017 Florida National Archery in the Schools Program State Tournament, a record number of participants for this increasingly popular event. The statewide archery tournament, hosted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), will be held Feb. 25 in Bartow. Admission is free for spectators.

The National Archery in the Schools Program is a cooperative effort between the FWC and the Florida Department of Education that teaches international style target archery in fourth-12th grade physical education classes. More than 470 Florida schools offer NASP, which covers archery history, safety, technique, equipment, mental concentration and self-improvement.

“Archery is a very inclusive activity for students. Boys and girls from a wide range of ages, skill levels and physical abilities can participate and succeed,” said Steve Robbins, coordinator for the statewide tournament. “Archery provides some obvious benefits such as helping to build muscle endurance, flexibility, hand-eye coordination, and grip and body strength. It also teaches discipline, respect and self-control.”

The 10th annual Florida NASP State Tournament will be conducted in two formats: a live tournament that will take place Feb. 25 at Carver Recreation Center, 520 Idlewood Ave. S., Bartow, and a virtual tournament for schools whose students cannot travel. The virtual tournament allows students to shoot for a score at their own school and enter the results in a digital database that compares virtual and live tournament scores.

Winners will be announced in three divisions: elementary, middle and high school. Trophies will be awarded to the top three schools in each division and the top boy and girl shooter in each division. In addition, a top overall male and female shooter will be recognized and presented with a Genesis bow. Every student participating in the live and virtual tournament will receive a T-shirt and a certificate.

In addition to the competition, there will be activities for competitors and spectators attending this free event, including an outdoor aerial archery game. For competing student shooters who wish to participate, there is an additional 3-D archery range competition with prizes, including bows provided by Bear Archery.

For more information about NASP, visit MyFWC.com/NASP.