Archery shops do a lot more than sell equipment. Pro shops are instrumental in creating a strong archery community. From lessons to league nights, certified instructors teach archers the fundamentals and provide a place to practice. A strong foundation of skills can create a lifelong love of archery. For some, a passion for competition can also lead to becoming a student-athlete, which can have many benefits like scholarship opportunities and friendships.
Many shops are heavily involved with student development programs such as the National Archery in the Schools Program and Junior Olympic Archery Development Program. Some partner with collegiate archery programs to provide lessons and shop services to college athletes. A local shop can be beneficial to college programs. While some universities have access to ranges, many students look to the nearby shops to practice. Technicians are also essential to setting up and maintaining gear. And beyond the practical reasons, the people often provide a generous support system.
Archery World USA in Fairfield, Ohio, is a strong supporter of youth archers. The shop has a S3DA Archery team. This scholastic program guides youth through indoor target, 3D and outdoor target archery competitions. The shop hosts weekly classes for athletes. It also celebrates the successes of the students and supports members of local collegiate teams. High school students who have trained at the shop have gone on to sign with college teams.
La Crosse Archery in Onalaska, Wisconsin, is a strong supporter of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse archery team. The team practices at the shop’s indoor range and competes in the 3D league. The shop is also instrumental in helping students raise money for the team. It provides the venue for the team to use for fundraising shoots. It has also hosted USA Archery instructor certification courses for team members. Becoming a certified instructor allows team members to raise money by helping to work as instructors in the shop during lessons and parties.
Most shop owners opened their stores because of a passion for archery, and they enjoy sparking an interest in future generations. Shop owners can often be found coaching student teams. Koteewi Sport & Target Archery Center Pro Shop owner Tony Girt coaches the Wolfpack Archery Team. The center also hosts several tournaments throughout the year, including several events for students of all ages.
Thanks to archery shops, students have a place to work, learn, practice and get help with their equipment.