The Easton Archery Center of Excellence celebrated its grand opening on Oct. 30 in Newberry, Fla., with a full day of archery activities that was highlighted with a ribbon cutting ceremony by Easton Foundation's Jim and Phyllis Easton, Greg Easton and Erik Watts. USA Archery CEO Denise Parker attended the festivities to learn more about the state-of-the-art archery complex.
"It is exciting that Jim Easton was able to make this program come to life and give archery a larger presence throughout the country," said Parker. "The facilities are truly exceptional and offer all archery enthusiasts an opportunity to increase their skill level."
The Newberry facility will offer a wide variety of programs for all archers including: After School Archery Program, JOAD Clubs and accelerated JOAD Clubs, which are multiple night training programs. Also the new facility is designed to host competitive archery events, and USA Archery will host one of the 2010 USA Archery Team events in October.
"What is interesting about Newberry is that this is the first of many Archery Centers of Excellence where they can take somebody from the very beginning stages of archery through to an advanced level," Parker said. "This is a location where it can take the athlete as far as they want to go."
When the Easton Foundation was putting the Archery Centers of Excellence program together, one of the key components was to include a full time archery coach.
"Bob Romero, one of our top national coaches, was hired there to be a full time coach and administrator of the programs," said Parker. "He is a great coach and will be a great asset to any archer participating in this center's activities."
The Easton Archery Center is developed with indoor and outdoor ranges, 3D ranges and sport science resources dedicated to further develop the athletes' and coaches' skills. There is an opportunity for USA Archery to host training camps, including the popular Junior Dream Team Camps. The Newberry complex is open for all coaches to use for camps, clinics and other programs.
"The Junior Dream Team Camps have been very successful, but we are running out of bed space at the San Diego Olympic Training Center, so we are looking into the possibility of expanding those camps into a regional based system and we would look at facilities like Newberry," said Parker. "The facilities are completely wide open for other coaches to come in and hold camps. Coaches who are interested in holding a training camp, need to contact Bob (Romero)."
One of the many features of this facility is the ability for all coaches to incorporate technical training into their programs through the use of high speed video. If coaches are unsure how video training can be incorporated into their programs, Romero is available to assist in this component. Coaches will have to check the Easton Archery Center of Excellence schedule or call Romero for more information.
"The indoor range is wired for different camera angles for archers so you can get high speed video analysis so the coaches can use all of the technology that is there," said Parker. "And this technology is open to anyone who is interested, coach or athlete. There are no restrictions on who can access the technology."
Over the next several months, Romero will be working with some foreign countries to host them at the Newberry facility for training. This outreach is also important in furthering USA Archery's international relations. The Newberry location was the third grand opening this year. The other locations of the Easton Archery Centers of Excellence are located in Yankton, S.D. and Lansing, Mich.
"This is truly exciting and provides permanent infrastructure for archery," said Parker. "The Easton Archery Centers of Excellence is something that USA Archery could never afford to do alone. There are going to be other centers developed throughout the country. (The Easton Foundation) is going to strategically place these centers. It is exciting to see that there are going to be facilities that are focused 100 percent on archery.
"If someone is introduced to archery in this type of environment they should be able to become competitive in four or five years of training," said Parker. "The athlete is going to get quality coaching early on in their career. Facilities like this will also promote and improve the level of coaching, not only in the region of the facility, but throughout the country."
In addition, the National Alliance for the Development of Archery (NADA) has moved into the facility as a primary tenant, along with the Newberry Parks and Recreation Department. NADA will be responsible for all archery activities at the facility, and will provide local support to Coach Romero's programs on behalf of Easton Sports Foundations.
Schedules are available and all are encouraged to request programs and events.
Easton-Newberry Sports Complex Contact Information:
P.O. Box 249, 24880 NW 16th Ave, Newberry, FL 32669
Phone: (352) 472-2388 Fax: (352) 472-2375
Robert Romero, Head Coach, Easton Foundation
Doug Engh, National Alliance for the Development of Archery (NADA)