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NFAA Easton Yankton
Archery Complex

800 Archery Lane
Yankton, SD 57078
605-260-9282
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Yankton archery complex drawing local, international attention

Maybe it's our Midwestern modesty that prevents us from truly trumpeting our successes.

We know when we've got something good, and we're content with that knowledge, even if accolades from across the country or, in the case of the NFAA Easton Yankton Archery Complex in Yankton, from throughout the world, are pouring in.

Within archery circles, Yankton's a big name, but many around here might not appreciate what that means. On the heels of hosting the World Archery Youth Championships in June, Yankton was recently chosen to host the 2018 World Archery Indoor Championships and 2020 World Archery Field Championships.

"A lot of the people that make decisions were here (this summer), witnessed what we did, and they were impressed. The whole archery world knows Yankton, South Dakota," said Bruce Cull, president of the National Field Archery Association, which relocated its headquarters from California to Yankton in 2008.

With the world's best archers making stops in town, people are beginning to take notice. It also doesn't hurt when bows and arrows are making more frequent appearances in pop culture.

"Everything that's been done in movies and Hollywood has been a pretty good tool," Cull said. "Recreational archers are a growing number nationwide."

With a popular TV show in "Arrow" and successful movies such as "Brave" and the blockbuster "Hunger Games" franchise, more people, especially youth, are taking an interest in the sport.

"There's more teenage girls involved than ever," said Cull, not surprised given the popularity of Katniss Everdeen, the heroine of "The Hunger Games" who's portrayed in the movies by Jennifer Lawrence.

The increased popularity is satisfying to Cull, a Yankton native who was exposed to archery in elementary school P.E. classes and was bow hunting by age 12.

So when the National Field Archery Association, formed in 1939, announced its intentions to move its headquarters to a more centralized location in the United States, Cull thought Yankton would be a great choice. There were already a number of bow hunters in the area and some who also did target shooting. City and state leaders put together an incentive package to land the NFAA headquarters.

Since then, major archery supporters such as the Easton Foundation have supplied grants to expand the center to nearly 50,000 square feet sitting on almost 100 acres with Olympic-caliber shooting ranges. The center also includes meeting rooms available for public use, a studio that martial arts and fitness instructors use for classes and the NFAA Foundation Archery museum.

Cull said hosting large tournaments helps sustain the complex, but helping beginners take up the sport is just as important

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The facility is open for public and recreational shooting. Coaches teach the sport to beginning and experienced shooters. Kids are having birthday parties, and companies have conducted team-building activities through archery here, Cull said.

There is a noticed uptick in local interest in archery, Cull said. That showed this summer, when 880 volunteers helped with the World Archery Youth Championships, which drew some 600 competitors from 60 countries. That volunteer turnout exposed international archery officials to the Midwestern hospitality and willingness to help that we're all familiar with.

"They're impressed with the community, the tri-state area," Cull said.

But then, this kind of support for events and activities in our communities isn't unusual.

We've always known it existed.

The archery world's now just finding out.

- NICK HYTREK, Sioux City Journal, nhytrek@siouxcityjournal.com

Read original article here.