1/28/2017 12:44:00 PM Champaign schools start archery as a club sport
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Two high schools in Champaign have created archery programs after the success of the sport at a local middle school.
Jefferson Middle School physical education teacher Lynn Srull started the archery program with 13 students in 201. Now, the middle school has a powerhouse program with more than 100 participants.
"Initially it was popular because of some of the movies like 'Hunger Games' and 'Brave' where there was an archer in the movie," said Jason Brown, Jefferson's archery coach. "Since then, it's built because our program has become such a contender in the state and nationally as a team."
The success at the junior high level has led Centennial and Champaign Central high schools to also adopt programs. Both schools will compete in this weekend's Greg Schweighart Shootout, which is open to students from third grade through high school.
Archery is a club sport in Illinois schools. The sport isn't sanctioned by the Illinois Elementary School Association or the Illinois High School Association, the state's governing body for sports and activities.
For archery to rejoin the IHSA, member schools must complete an emerging sports list form, according to Matt Troha, IHSA assistant executive director.
Christine Creek, Champaign Central's archery coach, said she has mixed feelings about whether the associations should recognize the sport.
"I'm conflicted about that, honestly," Creek said. "I think it would be great because it would give archery a little more respect as a sport. It's not that people don't respect us now; it's just viewed differently. Some people just don't view it as a sport, where if it was IHSA sanctioned, people may sit up and take notice of it being a real sport."
Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com