The fast-paced world of youth sports begins with "T-ball" and "Pee Wee" football and typically ends with high school league play. It’s not uncommon for parents to run from one field to the next searching for the right place to be. Family members routinely pass in the driveway in vehicles brimming with uniforms and equipment to suit the current seasonal activity. Many times, both parents and children are split on different fields. While children take to the fields, mom and dad sit as spectators in the stands cheering them on.
The world of archery offers one answer to the division of family time. Conducive to the family in search of spending more time together, this outdoor sport provides opportunities not offered by traditional sports. With archery, participation can include the very young and those of a more seasoned age. This all-inclusive family activity also offers accessibility for the most physically and mentally challenged. Manufacturers and retailers understand this, and now make archery equipment to suit any and all user types.
Whether your interest is Olympic-style archery with long distance precision, or 3-D field archery as a warm-up to hunting season, archery can accommodate. Most importantly, archery brings families together onto the field in a safe, wholesome and challenging activity. In addition to being very safe, archery can take on golf-like precision, baseball mental acuity and football stamina. Family members can begin with the most modest equipment and the least of expectations as a way to find fun in a sport they can participate in for the rest of their lives.
Looking for a place to shoot? Visit one of the community archery parks located throughout the state. Locations are listed at www.outdooralabama.com/hunting/education/shooting-ranges/. Furthermore, many city park and recreation facilities offer after-school programming or summer camps for archery. In addition, archery retailers can often help get you in touch with local archery clubs, archery instruction and more. And for youth, the Archery in Schools program is offered in many schools throughout the state. Participants in that program also have the opportunity to compete in regional, state and national tournaments.
Join the fun. Give archery a try.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.
Stuart Goldsby is a Regional Hunter Education Coordinator with Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.