A series of training workshops, conducted by Kevin Dixon, the vice president of the USA’s National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) for the BVI Archery Federation, wrapped up on Thursday.

Besides its members, the training targeted educators at the primary and secondary levels. Officials were expecting 15 participants for the sessions.

“We’re hoping to get as many of our Phys Ed and academic teachers trained as possible,” said Patrick Smith, BVI Archery Federation Public Relations Officer. “We are working on an archery program for the territory, so getting the teachers NASP certified is the first step in developing programs for the youths then older adults.”

After formalizing the body earlier this year, Smith said they noted that not all youths want to play baseball, basketball or team sports and not everyone is athletically gifted. He said archery is the sport that has the broadest level playing field, as it’s not limited to agility. “You can have people in wheel chairs, students, you don’t have to be tall or agile,” he noted. “You just have to have decent eyesight, a bit of concentration and go from there.”

Smith said after contacting NASP, they realized that there were no representatives in the Virgin Islands and they were excited about establishing the program. “In fact, after out training, they said we will be the Caribbean representatives for NASP, meaning that, if anyone else in the region wants to be trained they will either have to fly to BVI or fly us to their country for the training,” he explained.

The program began with training for federation members followed by that for educators Smith said. He said based on feedback for the educators training he didn’t think they’d have a problem finding 15 people. He said once persons are certified and they follow the NASP guidelines, they’ll be able to train as many teachers at primary and secondary levels or other individuals as possible.

“We have approached the Ministry of Education, shared our intent and they are very enthusiastic,” Smith said. “They are very impressed with out program, how we have things laid out, so it really looks promising.”