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Yankton Archery Going Global To Learn, Promote

A Yankton trio is headed to Europe and Las Vegas this month for back-to-back archery tournaments – but they won’t pack bows and arrows.

Yankton is gearing up to host the World Archery Indoor Championships in February 2018 and the World Archery Field Championships in September 2020.

“This makes a huge statement for Yankton. We’re taking our place as host along the likes of Bangkok and Beijing,” said Bruce Cull of Yankton, president of the National Field Archery Association (NFAA).

As part of the preparation, the Yankton delegation is making the trek next week to Nimes, France – then jetting to the second tournament later this month in Las Vegas. The trips represent a mix of fact finding and public relations.

The Yankton officials hope to score a bull’s-eye on both counts.

Besides Cull, the trio will consist of NFAA marketing director Brittany Salonen and Yankton Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) director Stephanie Moser.

“The World Cup Indoor Series has four stages around the world,” Cull said. “We’re going to Nimes from January 15-17 for the third stage of the World Cup Indoor Series. Then, we’re traveling to Las Vegas on January 29-31 for the fourth stage.”

During the two competitions, the Yankton delegation will man a booth allowing archers to learn more about the city hosting the 2018 and 2020 meets. In turn, the Yankton delegation can continue building on personal relationships with the contestants, coaches, judges and officials.

In addition, the Yankton delegation can witness how Nimes and Las Vegas host the tourneys.

“It’ll provide a time for public relations, but it’s also a time to see how they make decisions,” Moser said.

While both part of the same archery series, the Nimes and Las Vegas events promise to carry very different looks, Salonen said.

“The clientele is different (for the two venues),” she said. “Nimes will have more of an international feel. At Vegas, it’s more domestic.”

Nimes, about 250 miles from Paris, is located in southern France near the ocean, Salonen said. The city has a population of around 142,000 with a history dating back to the Roman Empire.

“At Nimes, we’ll see the format for their tournament,” she said. “It will be similar to events we’ve hosted. The indoor (event) is more our forte (with the NFAA Easton Yankton Archery Center in Yankton).”

In terms of a fit for its facilities, Yankton may have cleared a tougher hurdle in hosting last summer’s youth event, Salonen said.

“We actually started with the hardest one when we hosted the outdoor youth archery tournament,” she said. “With the upcoming tournaments, we have two formats with which we’re more familiar.”

Yankton’s performance played a key role in landing more world events, which the NFAA has sought for years, Cull said. A number of selection committee members were impressed with what they witnessed and with what they believed would be Yankton’s ability to handle the 2018 and 2020 world cup events.

Between the two events, Yankton is expected to draw around 1,000 athletes, trainers and officials from around the globe – and that doesn’t include local spectators, regional and national media, and the following of millions on World Archery’s web and broadcast platforms.

However, the 2018 and 2020 events won’t be a cookie-cutter of last summer and will require extensive planning, Moser said.

“It doesn’t just happen overnight,” she said. “We’re already on a tight time frame in getting ready for 2018, and the 2020 event is right behind it.”

A major contrast between the youth and adult tournaments will come in the form of accommodations, Moser said. The adults may choose to rent cars and make other arrangements, whereas the youth archers were transported and housed as groups.

In addition, the youth tournament occurred in June while the adult tournaments will occur in February and September. As a result, the Mount Marty College dormitories won’t be available this time around, as well as summer attractions.

However, Yankton can easily make adjustments, Moser said.

“We’ll have all the hotels to pick from, and we’ll have recreation from different seasons,” she said. “And by 2018, we hope to have the Mead Museum open so (visitors) are able to learn more about South Dakota and Native American history.”

The tournaments should pump millions of dollars into the regional economy, Cull said, adding he hopes it encourages the construction of new hotels and other accommodations.

Organizers look for as great – or even better – response to the call for volunteers, Cull said. Last summer’s event saw about volunteers from all ages and backgrounds.

The community and surrounding area readily embraced the visiting teams during the 2015 youth tournament, Moser said.

“We had visitors who did a shift, then came back and wanted to more,” she said. “The volunteers built relationships with the participants, and they became email pals.”

Given the recent Paris terrorism, the Yankton trio said they hold no hesitation about the upcoming trip to France. And for that matter, they realize security will again play a key role when Yankton hosts an international event with competitors from an estimated 60 nations or more.

However, Moser expressed excitement about the upcoming trips to Nimes and Las Vegas along with the opportunity to host more world events in Yankton.

“We’re like ducks on the pond. We look calm, but we’re paddling like crazy just below the surface,” she said with a laugh.

“But things will go very smoothly for us. It’s amazing to hear all the compliments from the coaches and athletes who came up to us (during the 2015 event). A coach from the (United Kingdom) said it was the best-run archery tournament he had seen. We bent over backwards (to put on a good tournament), and it was so well organized.”

And tournament officials will work to make the 2018 and 2020 events even more successful, Cull said.

“We’ll do whatever it takes to make this a first-class event,” he said.

- RANDY DOCKENDORF, Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan, @RDockendorf on Twitter

Read original article here.