One of the most interesting sports programs requiring fine-tuned skill, concentration and dedication offered to local youths in the Chambers County School System is an archery program coordinated locally by archery enthusiast George Chambley of Chambley’s Bait and Tackle.

A registered and certified archery specialist, Chambley has been active in Chambers County schools in spreading the fun and many benefits in the sport of Olympic-style archery.

The local archery program involves five schools in the Chambers County system: Fairfax, Huguley, Shawmut, Five Points and East Point. The local programs, Chambley noted, are part of Alabama’s Archery in the Schools Program, a Montgomery-based organization designed to teach Olympic-style archery skills to fifth through eighth grade students.

“It’s really an interesting program as it started in Kentucky in 2002 and one of the biggest items is the bow used,” Chambley noted. “We now use the Genesis bow, which has no specific draw length, so that any youngster from four-to-six-feet tall can shoot the bow.” The Genesis bow, Chambley added, is adaptable for all youngsters and also cuts down on set up time and gives the kids more time to enjoy the actual target practice shooting. “The Genesis bow retails for about $139 but all kids can use it, so it’s really a great deal,” Chambley said.

Archery benefits are far-reaching and is a great addition to any school’s physical education programs.

The statewide program is inclusive in that it teaches the youngsters not only about Olympic-style archery but also about the sport’s history, safety issues, techniques used, equipment, mental concentration skills and self improvement. The program is designed as part of a school’s physical education program.

Safety is always the first priority in the programs as students shoot at bullseye targets placed in front of an arrow resistant net in the school’s gym.

The Archery on Target for Life Program was developed by the Alabama Department of Education and the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. Before embarking on the two-week archery course program, all instructors complete a 12-hour National Archery Association Level I archery training program.

A certified archery specialist, Chambley can teach the archery programs as a Level I instructor to any interested schools.

The Olympic-style archery targets are designed for youngsters to shoot at ranges of 10 and 20 meters, Chambley noted. With this thought in mind, participants are taught to develop not only concentration skills but also can greatly increase their skill level with practice and dedication to the sport.

From the Valley Times-News dated October 17, 2006