Archery integrated into classes

Addie Reine

As the school year drones on, students would rather be outside instead of the classroom and Benilde-St. Margaret’s gym and Ecology classes are finding a solution to these long days by introducing a new archery unit.

BSM received funding for this new program through the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) along with the Minnesota DNR which gives grants to schools that want to have an archery program. “The NASP gave us $3000. We had to raise $1500 and the DNR provided [another] $1500 of archery equipment for a total of $6000,” said ecology teacher Mr. John Porisch.

Most of the juniors and seniors may have been unaware that this program was going on because they do not have gym classes or Mr. Porisch as a teacher. “Archery was incorporated in the fall P.E. classes where all the sophomores and freshmen did it,” said Mr. Porisch.

This new archery program has been implemented in order to benefit both underclassmen and upperclassmen, “The intent [for the archery program] is to give student athletes an opportunity to enhance skills such as hand-eye coordination,” said Mr. Porisch.

Archery is a co-ed activity and bonds students by offering equal opportunities to both genders. “It doesn’t give unfair disadvantages to girls,” said Mr. Porisch. Archery is more accessible to all sizes and strengths of students because of the types of bows BSM provides. “The bows are made to be easy for every student,” said Mr. Porisch, “the goal is to get everybody involved, not just stronger kids.”

This activity may also prove to be a successful solution to senioritis-stricken students in Mr. Porisch’s Ecology classes who will now get to experience the new archery program. “My ecology classes will be brought out in the spring [for archery],” said Mr. Porisch.

It is still uncertain whether archery will become a competitive sports team at BSM although there is a Minnesota State Archery League that provides competitions. “If we get students who want to compete then we will [compete],” said Mr. Porisch.

Archery might seem like a dangerous activity because it deals with weapons, but in actuality, it’s much safer than it seems. “Often ‘weapons’ are looked down upon, but research shows that it’s the safest P.E. activity. The kids learn to respect weapons,” said Mr. Porisch.

So far the archery program has been a success in the underclassmen gym classes and the P.E. staff has said that both girls and guys love it. It is yet to be seen how ecology classes react to the new activity, but if all goes well, archery might become one of BSM’s many official activities.