Movies and TV shows like the “Hunger Games” series and “Game of Thrones” prominently feature skilled archers – and as a result, more Americans are expressing interest in learning archery.
The Archery Trade Association conducted a survey on adult Americans’ archery participation and found that 21.6 million U.S. residents participated in archery in 2014, a 14 percent increase from the 18.9 million Americans who participated in 2012.
To ensure physical education teachers, sport coaches and other professionals can keep up with the demand for this sport, the College of Education & Human Development’s Department of Kinesiology and Health has added archery to its coursework.
“Archery has become very popular, even in elementary schools,” said Clinical Instructor Barbara Greene, who took an archery certification class to prepare to teach the sport in her target and field games class. “And as it grows in popularity, we wanted our students to be prepared to teach it at schools, YMCAs and Boys and Girls Clubs.”
Greene received five targets, 20 compound bows, hundreds of arrows and a Kevlar curtain from the National Archery in the Schools Program so she could begin teaching archery this semester.
She’s already given her students a primer in archery – including safety signals to ensure no one gets injured during class – and they’ll continue to practice through the rest of November.
“All the activities and tasks we’ve done in class have made archery fun but have also been great learning tools,” said DeAndra Brown, a student in the department’s Bachelor of Health and Physical Education, Sport Coaching Concentration program. “It’s been very helpful. I’ve already used some of these skills at recreation centers where I’ve volunteered.”
Archery By The Numbers
- Archery was the favorite sport of the Egyptian pharaohs during the 18th dynasty (1567-1320 B.C.). Many centuries later, some of the earliest recorded archery tournaments took place during the Zhou (Chou) dynasty (1027- 256 B.C.) in China and were attended by Chinese nobility.
- According to the Telegraph, an arrow released in competition flies 150 mph. The world’s fastest cheetah maxes out at about 60 mph.
- The innermost circle on an Olympic-style 10-ring target measures about 12.2 centimeters across – that’s roughly the size of a CD or a grapefruit. And archers stand three-quarters of a football field away from the target in Olympic competition.