The Calgary Stampede, located in Calgary, Alberta, and home to the world’s largest rodeo, wasn’t the only renowned event happening in Canada recently, as arrows were soaring at the NASP All-Star Championship that took place at an indoor hockey rink. This hockey rink isn’t just one of many in Canada, however, it is within WinSport Canada Olympic Park, the home of the 1988 Olympics.
The top 16 boy and girl NASP (National Archery in the School’s Program) archers from four NASP countries — South Africa, Namibia, Canada and the United States — were present for this anticipated tournament to determine gold, silver and bronze medal rank.
NASP All-Star Format
The tournament was set up and executed similarly to the NASP national and world tournaments that take place every year: archers shot a series of practice arrows before releasing their scored arrows. Archers then shot multiple thirty-arrow standard NASP and IBO (International Bowhunting Organization) flights over the course of 3 days. Every team shot at NASP bull’s-eye targets and 3-D targets (representing turkeys, coyotes, bears, pronghorns, whitetails and sheep). Co-gender teams and individual archers competed for bull’s-eye, 3-D, and combined format recognition.
Texas’ Dorothy Cobb summed up the impact of the event for several of the competitors: “The All-Star tournament had been a dream of mine for 2 years, and what I’d imagined couldn’t compare to this life-changing experience. All-Stars is more than a tournament, it’s a community filled with young archers who share the same love and drive for archery. We understand each other’s passion and dedication to the sport while creating a lifelong bond. That is what I love the most about the NASP; it is a very encouraging environment that pushes you to not only do your best as an archer but as an individual.”
2018 NASP All-Star Championship Scores
From the NASP All-Star Bull’s-Eye Competition, Ally Nordell from the USA scored a very high score of 887, just 13 points from a perfect score of 900, earning her the gold medal and overall female champion. U.S. archers Holly Snow, Rachel Hatfield, and Paige Emig placed 2nd, 3rd and 5th. Canadian archer, Charne Esterhuyse, placed 4th with a score of 863.
In the male division of the bull’s-eye competition, T. Sanchez from the USA earned top honors with his outstanding score of 895, just 5 points shy of a perfect score of 900, naming him overall male champion of the 2018 All-Star Tournament. In fact, in the first of his three flights, “T” shot a perfect 300. U.S. archers Dalton Hinkle, Justin Miller, and Mathew Harper placed 2nd, 3rd and 5th. South African archer, SJ Nel, came in 4th place with a score of 884.
Not only were individuals awarded for their hard work and dedication, but teams were ranked as well. The Unites States NASP All-Star archery team won 1st place, with South Africa coming in 2nd, and Namibia earning 3rd place. Congratulations to these groups of devoted archers.
Time for a Target Change
Once the bull’s-eye portion of the tournament ended, the range was quickly converted to accommodate the NASP IBO 3-D Challenge, where archers launched their aluminum arrows toward 3-D animal replicas.
The results of this competition were as follows: Canada’s Charne Esterhuyse took 1st place with her score of an amazing 860 out of 900; 2nd and 3rd places went to U.S. archers Holly Snow and Ally Nordell. Canadian archers, Cailin Jarvis and Megan Robins, earned the 4th and 5th place spots.
In the male division, 1st place was awarded to Mathew Harper, from the USA, who scored an 893. U.S. archers, Justin Miller, T. Sanchez and Dalton Hinkle earned 2nd, 3rd, and 4th places. SJ Nel from South Africa came in 5th place. The IBO/3D team awards went to the USA in 1st place, South Africa 2nd, and Namibia landing in 3rd.
In the combined bulls-eye and 3D competition, beginning in the female division, 1st and 2nd place spots went to Ally Nordell and Holly Snow, with only 3 points separating them. Charne Esterhuyse, from Canada, placed in 3rd, and U.S. archers Rachel Hatfield and Paige Emig took the 4th and 5th place spots.
In the male division of the combined portion of the tournament, 1st through 4th places went to T. Sanchez, Mathew Harper, Justin Miller, and Dalton Hinkle. Only 1 point separated T and Mathew. South Africa’s, SJ Nel placed in 5th. Team results from the combined scoring are as follows: 1st place went to Team USA, 2nd place was South Africa, 3rd to Namibia, and Canada placed 4th.
After Archery Activities
When the tournament and awards ceremony had ended, the fun didn’t cease. Many students, coaches and families took part in some of Canada’s finest festivities such as The Calgary Stampede and amusement parks. Others took road trips to visit some of Alberta’s most scenic locations, such as Banff National Park and other picturesque mountainous locations.
NASP CEO/President Roy Grimes gave a little insight on what to expect next year for the All-Star’s event: “The NASP All-Star Championship has been wildly popular among the students and parents who qualify and are able to attend. Beginning next year, in Nashville, Tennessee, the All-Star event will be part of the NASP Open Championship with up to 5,600 archers expected to compete.”
The National Archery in the School’s Program is well known for helping kids in grades 4-12 excel in academics, build confidence, and make life-long friendships, so it is no surprise that when the students were asked how NASP has impacted their lives, their answers were nothing short of inspiring.
“God has given me a talent that I am able to use for His glory. This tournament was a great way to do this by competing in front of multiple countries to allow God’s light to shine through me,” says Dalton Hinkle, an 11th grader from Henderson County High School, Kentucky.
Mathew Harper, a 5th grader who attends Maysville Elementary in Ohio has first-hand experience on how NASP has helped him in school: “I really think NASP has helped me and other student archers focus on our school work, so we will be able to shoot in our school’s program and also to be a better person in life. While in Calgary, I met people from other countries and learned to speak a bit of other languages.”
This is just one example of how NASP impacts lives in and out of the classroom. Of course, the archers aren’t the only people positively affected by this reputable program. Robyn Sanchez, All-Star T. Sanchez’ mother said, “The NASP All-Star Championship is so much more than a competition. It was an opportunity of a lifetime. Now we all have the opportunity to create a ripple effect by sharing this experience and inspiring others.”