Author: Teresa Johnson
The Archery Trade Association’s Archery Academy program has been introducing archery to communities for years. This year, however, the program is benefiting from a new direction: It’s doing more to help archery retailers and program leaders implement strategic plans that include archery in their programs. The biggest benefit to participants? Helping them become more profitable by teaching archery.
The Academy’s shift in focus is the brainchild of Jennifer Mazur, the ATA’s director of archery and bowhunting programs. Mazur says the academies will also incorporate parts of the ATA’s Retail Growth Initiative, which helps archery retailers enjoy more success through enhanced marketing, multiple classes based on skill levels, and activities that boost profits.
Picture the Archery Academy as a toolbox, with many tools tailored to meet each community’s specific needs for growing archery and bowhunting participation. In turn, increased participation creates new customers for the ATA’s retail and manufacturing members.
Jennifer Mazur, ATA’s director of archery and bowhunting programs, played a crucial role in developing the ATA’s Archery Academy. “Archery programming is a profitable venture,” Mazur said. “We want to share how to provide an experience their community is seeking – and how to make money doing it.” Photo Credit: Shannon Rikard
“Archery programming is a profitable venture,” Mazur said. “We want to share how to provide an experience their community is seeking – and how to make money doing it.”
The Academy’s new focus centers on helping retailers and program leaders become certified archery instructors. The goal is to help retailers turn their stores into social centers that help archers of all levels, and train instructors to take leadership roles in promoting all types of archery.
Each Academy also focuses on certifying participants as Level 2 archery instructors. That makes programs sustainable by allowing Level 2 instructors to certify Level 1 instructors, who can then help lead programs. Level 2 instruction teaches participants range setups, safety lessons and equipment basics. These classes equip them with skills for teaching archery to beginners.
The Archery Academy program also provides participants many options for next-step programming that keeps new archers and bowhunters coming back for more. The programming includes the ATA’s Explore Bowhunting, Explore Bowfishing and Explore Archery programs, as well as information on USA Archery, Scholastic 3-D Archery, Archery Shooters Association, and National Field Archery Association. Other ATA programs, such as the Archery Equipment Development Program, and retailer websites Archery 360 and Bowhunting 360, will be included based on the needs of Academy attendees.
The Archery Academy equips participants with the skills to teach archery to beginners by certifying them as Level 2 archery instructors. Photo Credit: ATA
The new Archery Academy emphasizes peer teaching and learning, and focuses on inspecting and repairing archery equipment, choosing the right equipment for each program, learning about crossbows, and how to set up an archery program using Academy equipment kits, which can be ordered for each program.
Each Academy’s timeline will differ based on the community’s needs. Some might get by with a short seminar format, while others might need a one-day, one-weekend or even week-long training session. No matter the outcomes sought by the host organization, the Academy can be tailored to each community’s needs.