COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – Imagine, for a minute, that you are 18 years old, obsessed with archery, and ready to head off to college. How can you keep up your archery practice, while juggling exams, internships and the heavy homework that goes along with college?
Simple: make archery part of your college search.
USA Archery Collegiate Archery Programs are found at colleges and universities nationwide, from Ivy League schools like Columbia and Princeton to hallowed halls of college sports fame like Texas A&M University.
From public institutions like James Madison University to Christian schools like Emmanuel College, there’s bound to be a school with a Collegiate program within reach.
Many archers start in a program like Explore Archery, learning the basics of the sport at a local camp, community program or parks department before moving on to a longer-term archery program like Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD).
It’s true that some archers look for the challenge of competition, but many pursue archery as a recreational sport, and both of those types of archers thrive in the JOAD, Collegiate, and Adult Archery programs, earning achievement awards and building friendships and life skills that last a lifetime.
Whether you’re focused on elite level tournaments or archery as a way to relax, USA Archery’s Collegiate Archery Program is the logical next step. These programs are the perfect opportunity for archers to continue shooting their bows, but in a close-knit team environment that provides encouragement for recreational shooting as well as memorable team competition experiences.
Every school’s Collegiate Archery Program is a bit different, and their structure will be based on factors like club size, coaching staff, funding and how the club fits into the school’s sports structure. For many schools, archery is a club activity or sport; at a select few institutions, it’s considered an athletic pursuit. At Columbia University, for example, the women’s archery program is a varsity team.
Some colleges are beginning to offer scholarships for archers, and that information can be determined by reaching out to the coach or club contact for the school you’re interested in. Many will give prospective students the opportunity to meet the coach and see practice facilities if contacted prior to a campus tour. The key is lots of advance communication, and for parents and students to gain a clear understanding of how archery fits into that school’s culture.
From the Collegiate Archery Program, opportunities for archers are virtually endless. USA Archery offers Adult Archery Program clubs located around the country, which graduating students can opt to join. There are also archery tournament opportunities nationwide, and the option to pursue competition at the local and state level. Other archers may decide to focus on becoming a member of an Olympic, Paralympic or World Championship team.
Regardless of the goal, archery is a lifetime sport – and graduating from the Collegiate Archery Program can be the first step on an endless journey of archery enjoyment.
Use our collegiate club locator to find a school near you with a Collegiate Archery Program. Contact Collegiate Archery Program Manager Callie Grieser at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, or for help starting a Collegiate Archery Program club at your school.
Reprinted/posted from USA Archery.