>> ANNOUNCER: A program at Michigan State University
gives school-aged kids a chance to learn archery and compete with kids from across the nation.
The Junior Olympic Archery Development program has attracted dozens of area kids who learn
about more than just shooting arrows. WKAR’s Rob South has this report. [arrows hit target]>>ROB SOUTH: Every Saturday morning a group
of Williams Tell wannabes lines up in the Archery range at MSU’s Demmer Center. They’re
here to learn this time-honored skill from some of the best archers in the country.>>CARA: We try to teach kids that archery
is a little bit more than what we play on the Wii. It’s a little bit more than what
you see in movies, it’s a lot of skill, a lot of practice involved. And it’s a really
great sport for kids to develop than, like contact sports that kids are used to. It’s
very individual and teaches them to listen to a coach and trust a coach, and listen and
practice and practice and practice and they’ll get it.>>ROB: There are more than three-dozen kids
who have signed up for the weekly class. Their skill levels range from the very good, to
first-time shooters. While the kids may see this as a fun way to
spend a Saturday and learn new skills, parents like JOAD, too.>>Joanne: You know, coming prepared, bringing
their bows, we had bought them bows for Christmas. Taking the initiative to try and get their
bows all set up before we come. That was a challenge for us at first, butÉ And listening
to the coaches too, was another thing. My middle one was always trying to find something
that she’s good at, and by listening to the coach I see that she’s really listening closely
and really following through with what they’re suggesting and I see a big improvement in
her.>>ROB: There is a competitive side to JOAD.
It’s a nationally recognized program and the kids are scored and ranked. As they get better
the targets get smaller and further awayÉ18 meters indoorsÉand up 90 meters outside.
The scoring is similar to Olympic ranking; bronze, silver and gold. The kids get a star
as their skills improve and they advance to the next level.>>Cara: And you can get up to your Gold Olympian
and you can get recognized by coaches and it can really take you far.>>ROB: MSU’s program has a few highly skilled
junior Olympians. As their skills improve their bows become very high-tech with special
sights, alignment thingies, risers and limbs which give them a futuristic, almost SiFi
look.>>Scott: That is an Olympic bow from Hoyt,
and it’s set up with an ILF limb so you change out the limbs from different companies. It
adds different poundage, the limbs are. So as you ad more poundage it gives you a little
more speed and distance.>>ROB: Wilson is ranked ninth in the country.
But that doesn’t guarantee him a spot on the Olympic team.>>Scott: It would be fun, but I’m not sure
if I’m going that way or what. In the JOAD program we work with the pin system. And I’m
hoping to get into the bronze Olympian, shooting 280 out of 300Éand just keep working my way
through it. It’d be fun if I did make it.>>ROB: The Junior Olympic Archery Development
program runs every Saturday from 10:30 to 12:30 at the Demmer Shooting Center on the
MSU campus. For 90.5 WKAR, I’m Rob South. And that’s Frankie.