Written by: Kimberly Oliver
Archery is quickly becoming a sport for everyone in Newberry, a small North Central Florida community just west of Gainesville. Archers, whether new or seasoned, young or old have plenty of program choices to keep them busy this summer season. The Center is offering a variety of opportunities for its community members, whether they prefer recreational archery, competitive archery or both.
Easton Newberry Sports Complex’s newest program, “Season of Archery’ kicked off in June by introducing young archers to a variety of archery disciplines. JOAD archers and youth new to the sport cycle through weekly coaching on 3-D, Field, Target and Clout. Each week, the archers who were drafted onto teams at the beginning of the season, compete with each other in that week’s featured area. In August, the season will come to an end with a tournament to test each team’s skill in the four areas.
In addition to the new Season of Archery program, Youth and Adult Target Archery Classes continue with a series of classes to meet the needs of the beginner and more advanced shooter. Classes range from Beginner Youth and Adult through Level Four—Advanced. An End of Session Tournament will be held in August for these classes.
Target Archers have had many opportunities to compete and train this summer. Several International Teams were at the Center in May and June to prepare for the World Cup Event that was held in Ogden, Utah. Teams from such countries as Canada, Saudi Arabia and Chile were on site at the Newberry Center to take advantage of the state of the art facility and nice weather.
On June 2nd, many of the Newberry JOAD archers were able to compete alongside international team members at ENSC’s Shooter of the Year Tournament. SOY, for short, is a quarterly tournament hosted by the Center. The tournament series was started by Head Coach Robert Turner to bring more target archery events to the Center. The Florida State 4-H Match was also held on June 2nd. In all, over one hundred target archers shot at the facility that day; truly an amazing sight for a sport that was introduced to the area just two and a half years ago when the center opened.
More target archers arrived on June 10th, to compete at the Florida Sports Foundation annual Sunshine State Games. FITA and 900 Rounds ran concurrently over the weekend, bringing in youth and adult archers from across the state. Many state records were broken during the weekend by Newberry area archers.
The Newberry JOAD Club, which trains at ENSC, competed at Easton JOAD Nationals in Hamilton, Ohio. Twenty two archers from the club attended. The Club brought home five national titles. Prior to the event, the Easton Newberry Sports Complex hosted a three day Nationals Preparation Camp for the archers. The curriculum for the camp was designed by Newberry JOAD Club President, Kimberly Oliver and led by Head Coach Robert Turner and Assistant Coaches David Anthony, Eric Blalock and Joey Todd. Topics covered match play, team rounds, sports hydration and nutrition and mental preparedness.
In addition to the preparation camp for the Newberry JOAD Club, the Center is hosting weekly day camps for area school children and churches. For many youth attending the camps, this has been their first exposure to archery. They look forward to their weekly trips to the Center to shoot. Demonstrating once again, that archery is contagious!
Not only do the youth have multiple opportunities to shoot during the week, much is happening for the adult shooter as well. Rising in popularity is Adult League Night. It continues on Thursday evenings with monthly tournaments for recurve and compound shooters. The College Club is gaining momentum as well, having weekly club shoots at the Center. The Newberry 3D Club is hosting bi-weekly shoots and ASA Qualifiers at the Center, taking advantage of the nicely wooded property behind the target fields.
According to Brandie Lovelace, Center Director, the aim of the Easton Newbery Sports Complex Archery Center is to promote archery as a sport for all members of this North Central Florida community. The summer program schedule reinforces this purpose by offering opportunities in many disciplines of archery that appeal to a wide variety of experience and interest levels. The Easton Newberry Sports Complex has become a hub of archery activity this summer for the Newberry area, making archery a sport for everyone.