“If You Build It, They Will Come...”
From a ‘Field of Dreams’ to Centers of Archery, 2014 has seen the building and opening of archery centers and the archers are showing that they will come.
This spring four new archery centers have opened their doors, from the Easton Salt Lake Archery Center in Salt Lake City, UT, to the Outdoor Archery Center of South Dakota in Brookings, SD, the Lincoln Shooting Center in Lincoln, NE and the West Michigan Archery Center in Rockford, MI, all satisfying the needs of local and traveling archers. In addition, there are more parks and recreation centers adding and featuring archery, more local ranges, and in 2015 the Easton Archery Center of Excellence at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA will open its doors to archers from youth to Olympians.
The Easton Foundations is proud to be growing and improving its archery offerings at its centers in Newberry, FL, Van Nuys, CA, and Salt Lake City, UT. The Foundation is constantly looking for ways to improve classes and opportunity for archers. There are plans to add more seminars from world class and Olympic archers as well as other archery activities. The Foundation is also proud to have a high caliber of coaches on its staff from our VP, Don Rabska to our Director of Coaches, Robert Romero and our Archery Center Directors – Carl Greene at Newberry, FL; Rene Paguia at Van Nuys, CA and Kevin Eldredge at our newest center in Salt Lake City, UT.
Archery continues to grow in its appeal to youth and adults alike which can be seen in the increase in membership for USA Archery and in enrollment in archery classes across the country. For the Foundations, its Olympic Archery in Schools (OAS) program continues to grow and interest in the program has come from a variety of school districts and other groups across the country. With this growth, OAS, run by Keaton Chia, does not rest. Keaton is constantly working on ways to improve the program, how it is run and what it offers. Recently the format was changed to reflect a league style of play with the hopes of increasing its impact at the middle and high school level and making it one of the ‘in-demand’ sports on campus. His efforts are working, as participation in the California league tournaments has doubled each year for the past four years and the expectation is for that to continue into 2015.
As archery continues to gain in popularity there is continued excitement and new challenges to face. The Foundations continue to provide grants to a variety of programs and facility projects. As part of its grass roots efforts, the Easton Foundations funded $1.4M in grants to various Archery Camps, Clubs, Neighborhood & Youth programs, Parks & Recreation facilities and Schools and to the construction and improvement of archery facilities. The Easton Foundations maintains its commitment to prior grant recipients with donations totaling $1.8M to groups including NASP (National Archery in the Schools Program), JOAD (Junior Olympic Archery Development), NFAAF (National Field Archery Association Foundations), USA Archery, and US Collegiate Archery Association.
The Foundations also supported Archery directly with over $2.7M in funding to its OAS program and to its existing Easton Archery centers and programs in Newberry, FL, Van Nuys, CA and Salt Lake City, UT.
Supporting and growing Archery continues to be a primary objective of the Easton Foundations, especially this past year due to the focus on the various building projects. However, the Foundations’ mission also includes contributing to all the sports that Jim Easton and the Easton Companies have been a part of, including Baseball, Softball, Cycling and Ice Hockey, as well as charitable gifts to the community in general.
As the Easton Foundations work to sustain, reinforce and grow the sport of archery it will continue to provide grants to programs from grassroots to Olympic; to provide resources to facilities where archery is taught, to assist in the training of new coaches to teach the sport to others, and to build, not only archery centers, but an increased recognition of the great sport of archery.