COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado - In the past year, USA Archery membership in South Carolina has grown by over 50% and the increasing number of active clubs have started to greatly expand activities and events throughout the state.
Several dozens of South Carolina's new USA Archery members have taken advantage of the free one-year trial membership USA Archery created for S3DA, OAS, NASP and Varsity Archery Program archers.
USA Archery's state coordinator for South Carolina, and owner of Midlands Archery Center, Teresa Deliz, shared: "While archery in schools is huge, opportunities outside of school are limited, especially in target archery. The free trial memberships offered by USA Archery have given school archery students a unique opportunity to venture into more advanced target archery at a time when COVID-19 restrictions are affecting their ability to shoot and compete with their school teams."
One new club, Upstate Archery Academy, opened in January 2020 and already has nearly 100 active members. Through partnership with the Greenville Parks and Rec Department, Coach Jack Williamson has brought many Explore Archery program graduates into his Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) Club.
Deliz added: "We are extremely grateful to USA Archery for offering this opportunity, especially in a time when so many families are struggling with economic challenges due to the shutdowns. Almost all of these students are progressing into higher level bows and looking forward to competing in USA Archery tournaments."
One of Deliz's roles is to organize and promote USA Archery state championship opportunities. "We're excited that in our inaugural year of the state indoor event, USA Archery has given us the opportunity to also allow archers to register for the Indoor Nationals events."
South Carolina, a state that generally enjoys nice weather for much of the year, has been able to provide safe venues for outdoor archery practice. There seems to be a need for family friendly outdoor recreational activities during the pandemic and for many, archery is filling that need.
One young archer at Midlands Archery Center shared: "The benefit of archery is that it is not a totally team sport so we could continue practicing at home and work on individual growth until we could find a safe way to practice together."
Her mom added, "What started as a PE class introduction quickly became a lifelong passion, interest and career goal. Being able to practice as an individual during the early quarantine days provided a little normalcy for my homeschooler. Due to the lack of a NASP homeschool team this year, our excellent coaches at Midlands Archery Center helped our daughter make a smooth transition to recurve and JOAD, pushing her further towards her dreams."
Deliz concluded: "We are thankful to be able to continue our archery programs with little difficulty here in South Carolina and are doing our part to help economic growth. The members of our club have purchased at least 28 bows, plus arrows and other accessories from local archery shops. Despite the challenges of COVID-19 and the response to it, our club has grown quickly and continues to offer all the benefits of the sport for archery enthusiasts, as well as a much needed outdoor activity for those not yet comfortable with closer contact indoor sports."
For archery opportunities in your area, find a club near you or learn how to start one today.
About USA Archery
USA Archery is the National Governing Body for the Olympic sport of archery in the United States. USA Archery selects and trains Olympic, Paralympic, World Championship, and World Cup teams, as well as developing archery at the grassroots level across the United States. For more information, visit www.usarchery.org.