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North Dakota Outdoors: School archery program keeps its aim on success

Jeff Long with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department says about 210 schools in North Dakota are signed up for NASP, though perhaps with staffing changes, about 150 are active any given year.

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Student archers take aim during a National Archery in the Schools event.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department

BISMARCK — An archery program that grew rapidly across the nation continues to be a popular pastime for students across North Dakota.

The National Archery in the Schools program, which originated in Kentucky in the early 2000s, spread to North Dakota a few years later.

Jeff Long, North Dakota Game and Fish outdoor skills coordinator, joined host Mike Anderson to talk about the program in an episode of North Dakota Outdoors.

Long says about 210 schools in North Dakota are signed up for NASP, though perhaps with staffing changes, about 150 are active any given year. That number still provides the activity, which is mainly held during physical education class, to about 1,500 students across the state.

And its safe, Long says. In 20 years of the national program, there has been no incidents.

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“It would never work if it wasn’t for safety,” Long says.

There's several tournaments throughout the season along with regional and state meets. North Dakota will return to an in-person state meet in Minot March 18-19, with the opportunity to move on to the national tournament. The COVID-19 pandemic canceled the past two seasons, although NASP offered virtual events.

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