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By Jeff Dysinger
Special to The SUN
Pagosa Youth Archery Program is now in its third year.
Since its inception, the class has had over 70 youth participate, and currently has 35 students enrolled, about one third of them girls.
This archery program has taken on a life of its own. The class has been a great learning experience for the kids; they aren’t just learning to shoot bows, but are learning other life skills as well such as teamwork, sportsmanship, respect and honesty. Instructors try hard to instill good work ethic in their practicing, while they develop confidence in themselves.
There are four classes at present. Monday is the competition class, Tuesday the intermediate class, and Wednesday the beginner class. There is a class on Thursdays, dedicated to the tournament team.
Right now, the PYAP is one of the largest programs of its kind in Colorado. The program always welcomes new students.
Class fees are $20 per month, and equipment is provided if needed.
The program will host its first shoot of 2013 in Pagosa on Jan. 5, starting at 9 a.m. at the Ski & Bow Rack. It is a Vegas-style, 300-round shoot and all ages (youth and adults) are welcome to participate. Please contact Jeff Dysinger or the Ski & Bow Rack for information and registration.
The group just finished its first mail-in tournament, in which the kids competed against all the other programs in the state. There are several local kids ranked in the top five in the state, with two Pagosans ranked first and second. There are three statewide mail-in shoots that students compete in each season in addition to the on-site shoots they travel to for indoor and outdoor 3-D competition.
The PYAP tournament team members are also excited to compete in the Colorado State Indoor Championship and even more excited to get to go to the World Archery Festival, held in Las Vegas, Nev. This is the second year the team will travel to this tournament. It’s the largest gathering of archers in the world.
The Pagosa program is in the process of raising money for this trip. If you would like to help get these kids to the World Archery Festival, contact Jeff Dysinger at 946-9958 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Any help is appreciated, and you can designate what you would like your donation to be used for — for example, entry fees or lodging.
Thanks go to the community of Pagosa Springs, the Ski & Bow Rack and parents, for continued support of the program and the kids involved.