RALEIGH, N.C. (Feb. 21, 2022) – Officials at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission have confirmed that students across the state will gather for the first time since February 2020 at North Carolina’s National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) State Tournament in Winston-Salem, Feb. 25 - 26. Over 750 students from 30 schools will compete in elementary, middle and high school divisions.
In 2021, the pandemic forced the Wildlife Commission to hold a virtual event, which was successful but didn’t have the same feel as the two-day, in-person competition the program had enjoyed in the past.
“We are thrilled to hold the state competition at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds,” stated Lee Scripture, archery education coordinator with the Wildlife Commission. “The NASP tournament provides an opportunity for students to compete as a team and as individuals and show their hard work and improvement. It’s the next generation of shooting sports at its best.”
Tickets to attend the competition are $5, and the public is welcome. Awards will be given to the top three schools in each division and to the top three male and top three female individuals in each division. Top finishers will move on to the national championships held in Louisville, Kentucky in May.
North Carolina stand out, Natalie Bell, will be defending her national title as best overall individual female. Bell, a middle-school student at East Burke Middle School in Connelly Springs, earned a near perfect score of 298 out of 300 at the 2021 national tournament, outperforming 7,306 other females across all divisions.
“The most exciting thing about participating in NASP is the thrill of the competition and the friends that you make and reconnect with at each event,” said Bell. Clint Bell, her dad and a former Wildlife Law Enforcement Officer, added, “NASP has provided opportunities we never imagined for Natalie. Her mother and I are happy to see the sport growing throughout the state and offering positive, new opportunities for young people.”
The National Archery in Schools Program teaches and promotes international-style target archery as part of an in-school curriculum to improve educational performance and participation in the shooting sports among students in grades 4-12. For more information, or to find out how your school can participate, visit naspschools.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.