Blog post by Mary Emmons, USA Archery Outreach Director:
Spring is in the air, and for JOAD clubs across the country the warm weather brings a variety of opportunities for outdoor archery. The sport of archery experienced a rise in popularity in 2012, primarily due to the Olympic Games and the inclusion of archery within mainstream media and films, including “The Hunger Games”, “Brave”, and others. As the popular outdoor archery season gets underway, this surge continues, and many clubs and recreational organizations are reporting increased participation and interest in local archery programs.
At USA Archery (USAA) we can concur that indeed the desire for grassroots archery programs is on the rise! In the last 5 years the number of USAA clubs has increased by 54%. Today, a total of 665 JOAD and Adult Archery Achievement clubs span 47 states. These clubs provide an abundance of opportunities for new and existing archers to improve their form and shooting skills, earn achievement awards, prepare for and compete in events, and most importantly have fun!
Other areas of USAA have also experienced growth in the last 5 years. JOAD National Indoor Championships event participation has increased by 35%, with 943 archers participating in 2013. Likewise, youth memberships have increased by 46% and now accounts for nearly 25% of total organizational membership.
As interest and participation in the sport increases, USAA continually strives to increase opportunities for participants of all abilities. Currently, registration is open for 8 JOAD Camps and 2 High Performance Camps, the Easton JOAD Nationals, two USAT Qualifier Series Events (for Cadets and Juniors), and the 2nd Quarter of the JOAD Mail-In Tournament is underway. Additionally, USAA is currently accepting applications for the Ann Hoyt/Jim Easton JOAD grant. Clubs that need additional equipment or coaching resources are encourage to apply.
USAA is proud to partner with a variety of clubs and youth serving organizations across the country who work tirelessly to promote archery programs and instructor certification. USA Archery is committed to making continual improvements to our programs and events to ensure club leaders have the resources they need to promote and engage in safe and fun archery programs, and the ability to progress athletes to a higher level of achievement. Whether you have questions about membership, certification, programs or events, USA Archery's staff is committed to helping you make your program a success!