Nodaway-Holt archery student Dakota Allen has qualified to compete in the national archery shoot held in Kentucky, May 11-13.
Dakota and her teammates are part of the National Archery in School’s Program (NASP) that was created by Kentucky Departments of Fish and Wildlife Resources and Department of Education in 2001. The program is open to students in the fourth grade throughout their senior year.
In order for a school to participate in NASP meets, archery must be taught in the school by the physical education teacher.
In 2013, Dakota decided archery was something she was interested in and wanted to pursue. At the time, most of the tournaments were in south Missouri. Over the past couple of years, interest in the sport has been mounting with competitions being held in Kansas City and Bethany.
Last year, Nodaway-Holt had three students who participated in competitions and this year they had five: Makenna Demint, Natasha Abrams, Dakota Allen, Mickayla Demint and Ryan Allen.
“Typically, a small archery team consists of 20 kids in most places. Growing from two to five students was a huge growth for us,” parent Michelle Allen said.
Every Wednesday from January to March, the Nodaho Bow Hunters Archery Club invites the students to come to its meetings and practice. The experienced archers provide the necessary equipment and gear, give lessons and teach approximately 15 children archery skills each week.
Four of the five team members shot at the state NASP shoot in Jefferson City. Dakota placed eighth, shooting a 272, making her eligible to shoot in the bullseye nationals where they expect to see over 12,000 archers participate.
Since Dakota qualified for finals, it allowed the other team members from the same school to participate in some of the events.
Both Ryan and Dakota will be competing in the 3D shoot at nationals, which is shooting at a 3D foam animal target.
“The competition helps students with concentration and dealing with stressful situations. With archery, she (Dakota) would stress at each competition. She is learning to deal with it and brings those skills back to the classroom,” Michelle stated.