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Yankton Takes Aim: Work Under Way For 2015 World Archery Tourney

By Jordynne Hart

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Though the 2015 World Youth Archery Championships is still months away, planning is already in full swing for a international archery tournament unlike the Midwest has ever seen before.

“We knew if we were awarded this bid that it was really going to snowball quickly even though the actual event was still a year away,” said event manager Nancy Wenande. “We put together a strong organizing committee which consists of a strong group of people in many different areas of the community. As far as the planning goes, we were awarded the bid, so we know that we have to provide lodging food and transportation. So, essentially, once they get off the airplane, they are ours a community to take care of.”

The National Field Archery Association (NFAA) Easton Yankton Archery Center was awarded the bid to host the 2015 World Youth Championships by World Archery’s executive board. Yankton beat out other potential sites such as Mexico City.

This event only comes to North America every six years.

The tournament will be held June 8-14 and is expected to draw an estimated 600 competitors from 60 countries. This number does not include coaches, parents and other observers. Wenande said that though this is not an Olympic qualifying event, a lot of the archers that are shooting in the tournament will likely represent their country in upcoming Olympics.

With hosting such a big event comes months of planning.

Observing In Bangkok

Bruce Cull, president of the National Archery Association, Bruce Cull is in Bangkok, Thailand right now for the Indoor Archery World Cup. Wenande will be joining Cull there next week to talk with people who are organizing the competition there.

“We are going to see if they have some hints on what we could do better or different here,” she said. “I want to see how the kids are interacting with each other and what they are gravitating to or away from, so that we can have those kind of things here.”

Wenande said that she will see what kind of food and beverage choices that archers will use so that she can incorporate it into the Yankton event.

“Our event will be much larger then what I’m going to see,” she said. “But it will be interesting for me to observe.”

Wenande said that she has never traveled internationally before.

“It wasn’t even three weeks ago what Bruce brought this up,” she said. “I didn’t think he was serious.”

Nancy said he called her up two days later to tell her he was serious.

“He told me that he will give me 24 hours to think about it and that he had a ticket on hold for me,” she chuckled. “I didn’t even have my passport.”

Helping Local Businesses Plan

The Yankton Area Chamber of Commerce will help by preparing businesses for event.

Chamber Executive Director, Carmen Schramm will be working on educating businesses in the community on the different cultures and what item to have on hand for the archers.

Wenande said that denim, vitamins and electronics are going to be the big items that the archers will be looking to buy.

“We should be sure to have what they need in our community so that they don’t feel like they need to get it when they are Sioux Falls or Chicago or wherever their exchange might be at the airports,” Wenande said. “We want them to spend their money here locally if possible.”

Taking Care Of Main Components

The logistics of transportation, meals and lodging area major focal point in preparation for the event.

 “The food is very important,” Wenande said. “We are contracting with A’viands, who does the food over at Mount Marty College and the Human Services Center. They are going to be providing meals on-site for lunch and supper all of the days of the tournament.”

But this doesn’t include snacks.

“We also want to put together a little snack bag for them for when they get off the plane with water and hopefully some kind of South Dakota-made product,” she said. “We were told that the archers like sweets.”

Wenande said that she hopes to get sponsorships to have free cotton candy and root beer floats for the athletes.

Charter busses will be hired to transport athletes coming from regional airports to Yankton.

“The official travel dates are Junes 6-7, though, some of the teams have already inquired about coming in earlier so they can come on the fields and get used to it before the official tournament starts,” she said.

Wenande said that the archers will stay in local hotels and at Mount Marty College.


To Wenande, this isn’t just one big event.

“The way I look at it is, it is one big event that we are hosting for the community with about 20 mini-events in it,” she said. “We will have the opening ceremony, which is a huge event by itself, and every night we would like to showcase something for the archers to do in the community or bring something to them.”

Wenande said that she would like to involve the Yankton youth in the activities as well.

 “It doesn’t do the community a lot of good if we bring in all this culture and not allow people to get exposed to it,” she said. “With that, we would like to have people bring items from their home country to swap and barter with kids from other countries. It is a really popular event at Science Olympiad, so we are hoping that the archers and our local high school students will get into that and engage.”

A post-archery party and a pizza and ice cream night are also on Wenande’s planning agenda.

“We are making sure we are doing what we can to play up the entire state of South Dakota,” she said. “We know when a person comes in from China, they aren’t going to know Yankton, but they may know Mount Rushmore.”

Wenande said that after the tournament, tours will be offered to go out for a three’ or five-day tour to the Black Hills.

“We want them to know that this state has a lot to offer,” she said.

In Need Of Sponsors                     & Volunteers

Wenande said sponsors and volunteers will be needed soon.

“We have the opening ceremony, the closing ceremony, all the activities that we do during that week, the transportation around town and food,” she said. “There is just a lot that goes into this.”

Wenande said that there are going to be a lot of opportunities for the community to participate in the event.

“We will need people greeting archers as they get off the busses,” she said. “We are also going to need volunteers to help with food, preparation, clean-up and whatever the A’viands staff needs help with. We are going to need help on the ranges and the concession stand.”

In order to pull off such a huge event, Wenande said that at least 500 volunteers will be needed for different things through the course of the week.

“We will have a website organized as we go through this process so people can sign up for different activities that they want to help with.”

Once volunteer planning gets started, Wenande said that planning meetings will begin that volunteers can attend.

“So if you are going to be a greeter at a hotel, you will know what is expected of you, who your contact person is and where to go if there is a problem,” she said. “We want everything to be very streamlined for the volunteers as well as the guests that we are hosting in Yankton.”

Volunteers will also be needed for a post-archery party to end the event.

“It’s going to be a hoedown western theme,” she said. “We need some ideas from people on some games that the kids could play that would be fun. Donations of little trinkets and candy would be needed — nothing big, because they won’t be able to fit it in their suitcase.”

Clubs, groups and churches are invited to put together activities for the event.

“We would also like to invite our local high school students to the event to engage with the archers,” she said. “If we, as Yankton, want to put on a world-class event to showcase Yankton and the state of South Dakota, everybody needs to come on board to make this happen.”

To volunteer or become a sponsor, contact Wenande at 660-0438 or e-mail her at

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