ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5)- Some Cenla organizations are making it their mission to promote a sport in schools that is challenging both mentally and physically. News Channel 5's Rachael Penton takes a look at the new archery program at Ruby Wise Elementary School.
The kids at Ruby Wise Elementary School received an unexpected gift on Thursday.
"I was really surprised," says student Tucker Smith.
The non-profit group White Tails Unlimited donated new archery supplies.
"It gives them something else to occupy their time rather than just sitting in front of a computer. It's an outdoor sport if they can get interested in that maybe it'll grow into other things like a passion for hunting and the outdoors," says Whitetails Unlimited Chairman Craig Sikes.
"The group presented the school with a brand new set of archery equipment. They've got targets, bows, and plenty of arrows- enough for all the kids to shoot."
Whitetails Unlimited has donated equipment to eight different schools in Cenla that wanted to participate in the Archery in Louisiana Schools Program.
"When I said they were going to do archery this year they were so excited because that's just our lifestyle. We're just outdoor people," says P.E. Teacher Aleisha Demars.
The program is designed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
"We come into school. We train their teachers. Normally it's physical education teachers because it's part of their in-school curriculum. It's designed to go right into their classroom," adds Robert Stroede, Archery Coordinator for the LDWF.
The kids are already feeling confident in their skills.
"You got to be really steady to make a bullseye," says student Ashton Points.
"It makes me feel like butterflies in my stomach. It feels good," adds student Amber Barr.
It's an opportunity for kids in Cenla to participate in a program that you could say is right on target.
"More kids participate in the U.S. in this program than they do in little league baseball so that's really saying something about the popularity of the program," adds Stroede.
For the past few weeks the kids have been practicing with some borrowed equipment. Now that they've got their very own they'll be able to compete in the state archery tournament that's coming up on March 1st at the LSU AgCenter.
***The LDWF is looking for people to volunteer at the ALAS State Tournament. All volunteers receive a free, state tournament T-shirt and lunch. If you're interested in volunteering contact Robert Stroede: email@example.com.