Students at the state shoot will come from more than 100 schools to compete in archery after a season of practice and competition in their respective schools as part of the Oklahoma Archery in the Schools (OAIS) program.
Coaches have told me time and again that this program has helped every child see success. From the typical athletic student to the child that does not usually excel in most other sports, archery is allowing all students to compete on a level playing field, said Justin Marschall, OAIS coordinator for the Wildlife Department.
The number of students at the state shoot reflects the growth of the OAIS program during its six years of existence. This year's state shoot will see an increase of more than 600 students over last year's shoot.
Currently about 230 schools participate throughout the year. Coordinated by the Wildlife Department, OAIS is part of the National Archery in the Schools Program. The program partners state wildlife agencies, schools and the nation's archery industry to introduce students to the sport of archery. The Archery in the Schools curriculum is designed for 4th-12th graders and covers archery history, safety, techniques, equipment, mental concentration and self-improvement.
The top three shooters in each category at the state shoot will receive medals and prizes. In addition, the top five shooters in each category and first place teams automatically qualify for the national shoot to be held May 6,7 & 8 in Louisville, Ky.