A mental discipline sport

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Posted Thu, Apr 7, 2011

Taking Aim: Studies show the positive effects of archery training.

Englewood, Colo. — Physical education in schools used to be about more than baseball, football and soccer. “Spares” and “gutter balls,” “birdies” and “bogies.”
Today it’s“back-hands” and “chop-shots,” “quivers” and “Shafts. Circa Colorado 1993, these terms are associated with alternative Physical Education activities that were once offered at local high schools in the Denver-Metro area as an alternative to traditional P.E. curriculum. They were bowling, golf, tennis and archery.

“After Columbine happened, we saw the largest decline in interest in Archery,” says John Tidwell, owner of Bear Creek Archery.

Tidwell explains that parents and the public became fearful of teaching children how to use armaments even though studies show the positive effects of archery training.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife, in conjunction with the National Archery in Schools Program website says that archery improves a students school attendance and behavior and that regardless of gender, stature or ability, students achieve success. Additionally, students are forming their own after-school archery clubs and personally purchasing their own archery equipment.

“(Archery) is much, much more than weaponry, it’s the best mental discipline sport,” says Tidwell.

Archery takes a lot of training and no one is allowed to just pick up a bow and start shooting.

Char Hazlewood, 77, has been involved in archery for 48 years. She is also a Master Coach, has managed three archery stores and is the Senior NH Outdoor Champion. She says that anyone under the age of 18 has to first attend a two-hour safety course.

Hazlewood discovered archery when she was a Brownie Scouts leader and her troop attended an archery demo in hopes of earning their archery badges. She quickly realized it was something she could do with her family.

Consequently, Hazlewood’s daughter, Jane Mowbry also became involved in archery and she’s also a championship archer and the director of publicity for the Colorado State Archery Association.

In addition, archery is a big draw for women and some refer to it as an “equalizer sport” because women and men compete equally. However, regardless of the true popularity and positive aspects of archery, there is still little representation in Colorado high schools and interest wanes further with each generation.

“We need more people involved. More kids involved”, says Hazelwood and “if you get the kids, you get the parents!”

Popular movies like “Rambo” and “Robin Hood” usually increases traffic and Tidwell appreciates the interest such films develop, but is discouraged at the decline of school support despite the national organizations that promote and encourage the sport.

Jolie (last name withheld), 14, a freshman in high school and president of her student government started in archery less than a year ago and her parents and friends completely support her interest and involvement.

“People at school think it’s cool,” she says.

Alison, 22, a part-time employee of Bear Creek Archery, who also attends school full-time at Arapahoe Community College and is a championship archer in California, has been shooting for four years. Alison intends to give Mowbray a run for her money in the Colorado championship. She remarkably talented and enthusiastic about the sport. Alison teaches many of the youth and introductory classes offered at Bear Creek Archery.

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3 Responses to “A mental discipline sport”

  1. Leah Says:

    you rocky, girl. awesome sport.

    Reply

  2. Andrew Carlson Says:

    Interesting story! Good to see coverage on something like this!

    Reply

  3. Tyler Grimes Says:

    great work!

    Reply

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