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NFAA Easton Yankton
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Yankton, SD 57078
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Yankton Garners Worldwide Fame For Archery

Three months after hosting a world archery tournament, Yankton is once again enjoying a global flavor thanks to archery.

Instructors from 21 countries have converged in town for the first in a series of training sessions as part of the International Field Archery Association (IFAA) Archery Academy.

With an eye toward certifying more instructors, courses began Oct. 15 and conclude today (Monday) at the Easton Foundation Archery Center in Yankton.

Among the countries in attendance have been Argentina, England, Estonia, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Mongolia, Scotland, Spain and Switzerland, according to National Field Archery Association (NFAA) president Bruce Cull.

“It's a neat thing for the community, because all these people are eating their meals here, staying in hotels and seeing the sights,” Cull said. “They're learning a whole lot about archery and seeing how the sport is growing in our neck of the woods.”

Having such an international feel is nothing new for Yankton or the NFAA, as the World Outdoor Archery Festival was held in town in July. Yankton has also hosted such events as the World Bowhunter Championship in 2009.

As part of the first IFAA Archery Academy, 11 archers take part in basic training techniques all the way up to master coaching. A group of 3-4 instructors, including some flown in from Pennsylvania and Georgia, lead sessions that are a mix between classroom work and hands-on shooting, Cull said.

The sessions have typically lasted from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., with some evening shooting. There are four different levels being taught, Basic, Intermediate, Community Coaching and Master Coaching.

Of those divisions, the instructors have also worked with local archers, Cull said.

“The first of these, which are not competitive, are more of the actual training,” he said. “Part of what they do, for example, is to integrate their learning in helping with the Mount Marty College program.”

Men's and women's archers from Mount Marty were able to pick up advice from the national instructors and other international shooters, Cull said. The Lancers and the international representatives took part in a pizza night last Thursday, which Cull called a “neat hands-on thing for them.”

Upon successful completion of the course, the participants will receive formal accreditation from the IFAA as Level 3 instructors and Master Instructors.

They will then start with Level 2 and 3 courses at regional and national levels, as well as instructing local archers.

England and Spain each sent two participants to the seminar in Yankton, while Estonia, Argentina, Switzerland, Ireland, Mongolia and Latvia each sent one. So far, the reception has been positive, Cull said.

“They're really enjoying it,” he said. “The biggest comment I've heard is that it's so much information, they have a hard time even digesting it all. But that's why we've been ahead of other countries in coaching and instruction methods.

“That's one of the reasons they're here.”

A second seminar of international archers will be sponsored by the NFAA and IFAA in November, and Cull said he also hopes such instructions can be held annually in Yankton.