Frankfort, Kentucky – Both boys and girls will compete for top honors during a different kind of school tournament March 18 in Louisville.
Kentucky’s National Archery in the Schools tournament will feature more than 1,800 high school, middle school and elementary school students from 100 schools throughout the state. The daylong tournament begins at 9:15 a.m. at the Louisville International Convention Center on Fourth Street.
“The kids are really excited,” said Jennie Richardson, archery program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “The winning teams get to take back tournament championship banners – and all the kids want a banner for their school.”
All students complete with Mathews Genesis bows, a uniquely designed bow that can be used by the biggest and strongest or the smallest and weakest archer. Several handicapped students, including two vision-impaired students using a special aiming aid, will complete alongside their able-bodied peers.
Kentucky began the National Archery in the Schools Program in 2002. The first tournament attracted 651 participants. Since then, the program has spread to schools across the United States and several foreign countries. Still, Kentucky hosts the largest state tournament in America, Richardson said.
Kentucky’s tournament has grown so large that students now must qualify in regional tournaments to reach the state. More than 6,000 students participated in nine regional tournaments held around the state this winter for the right to shoot in Louisville.
The tournament is open to the public. The cost is $5 for adults and $2 for students. Kids under five are admitted free.
The tournament is divided into three flights, beginning at 9:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m. and 2 p.m. Eastern time. The top shooters also compete for college scholarships prior to the 6 p.m. awards ceremony.
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources manages, regulates, enforces and promotes responsible use of all fish and wildlife species, their habitats, public wildlife areas and waterways for the benefit of those resources and for public enjoyment. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, an agency of the Commerce Cabinet, has an economic impact to the state of $4.8 billion annually. For more information on the department, visit our web site at fw.ky.gov .