The Archery Trade Association is teaming with the Scholastic 3-D Archery Association to grow bowhunter numbers across the country and increase grassroots-level participation in target archery.
An entirely after-school initiative, S3DA teaches students, ages eight to 18, about 3-D, indoor and outdoor target archery, and bowhunting ethics. The partnership will increase student access to recreational and educational programs, and boost retail opportunities for local shops offering S3DA programs. The partnership involves staffing, operations and program support.
“S3DA’s mission to provide next-step opportunities for youth and their emphasis on bowhunting and retailers made them a natural fit for a partnership with the ATA,” said Jennifer Mazur, ATA’s director of archery and bowhunting programs. “Their direct connection to the Archery Shooters Association, National Field Archery Association and USA Archery provides this audience an opportunity to experience all disciplines of archery. We look forward to encouraging S3DA’s growth.”
Currently, students can find S3DA programs in more than 30 states, with these numbers rapidly rising. S3DA programs can be implemented in schools, clubs, churches, archery shops and more. Youth can compete in state and national competitions. Through a partnership with the U.S. Collegiate Archery Association and USAA’s Collegiate Archery Program, S3DA participants have the potential to earn college scholarships and compete collegiately. The new partnership with ATA will provide a pathway for both youth and young adults to transition from introductory programs into multiple disciplines of archery, advanced programs, competition and bowhunting.
S3DA's direct connection to ASA, NFAA and USA Archery, provides this audience an opportunity to experience all disciplines in archery. Photo Credit: Shannon Rikard.
“S3DA is very proud to be partnering with the ATA. During our initial discussions, it was obvious that the S3DA mission for our program to foster, educate and guide youth in the areas of 3-D, indoor and outdoor target archery as well as safe, ethical bowhunting practices, fit perfectly with the direction and goals of the ATA,” said Jennie Richardson, executive director for S3DA.
Participation in S3DA provides a natural progression into a lifelong love of bowhunting. Working with ATA and the Pope & Young Club, S3DA students learn about fair chase, bowhunting ethics and wildlife conservation. ATA’s new partnership with S3DA will give clubs access to ATA’s Explore Bowhunting and Explore Bowfishing educational programs. Coaches can integrate the Explore Programs directly into their club’s curriculum, helping diversify interested participants by linking 3-D archery to bowhunting and bowfishing.
“By allowing us to incorporate the ATA’s Explore Bowhunting programs into our curriculum, we will provide all of our youth members and their families a complete program to promote archery and bowhunting, which will help develop our next generation of archers and bowhunters,” Richardson said.
This year, S3DA instructor certifications are available for the first time at the ATA Trade Show. This ATA and S3DA partnership will help clubs grow faster by providing S3DA-certified coaches with the tools to start programming and engaging in tournaments sooner. Offering S3DA recreational archery programs can boost business for retailers, and the new collaboration provides a systemic approach to establishing S3DA clubs as a next step to introductory programs.
Some of the early goals of the partnership include hiring a national outreach director, developing a club curriculum and contracting with Sport:80, a membership management system. Photo Credit Indiana Scholastic 3D Archery FB.
As another added benefit to retailers, S3DA participants are free to use the equipment of their choice from any brand or company. As the organization representing manufacturers, retailers, distributors, sale representatives and others working in the industry, ATA believes this aspect of S3DA serves the interest of manufacturers, as well as local shop owners who host an S3DA club.
Early goals of the partnership include hiring a national outreach director, developing club curriculum and contracting with Sport:80, a membership management system. Sport:80 is a platform for sports organizations to recruit, maintain and manage members, as well as provide communication channels and event information. Through the use of this software, S3DA will improve its customer service and streamline efficiencies.
Growing a new generation of archery enthusiasts and bowhunters benefits everyone in the industry. Fostering a love of archery and a respect for bowhunting benefits youth and the wildlife they hunt. Passing on the tradition of archery and fair chase to the next generation helps ensure the sport’s heritage will remain one of hard work, respect, conservation and family.