Archery tournament expected to bring thousands to Branson

Published: Mar. 16, 2017 at 10:57 PM CDT
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Next weekend - some ten-thousand visitors are expected in Branson, as students hope to hit the bullseye for Missouri National Archery's annual tournament.

Archery is one of the fastest growing sports in Missouri.

"We just signed the 600th school in Twin Pines Missouri this year but it's growing so fast in Missouri."

Growing fast, because of the Missouri National Archery in the Schools Program.

Because of the program, 185,000 kids have been in archery classes in the Missouri schools this year. Now, 2,500 of them will be competing in Branson.

It's a state competition in Branson for the first time ever, because the tournament has gotten so big.

"We moved it to Branson, Missouri at the Hilton Inn so we will be able to accommodate all 2,500 students this year no one will be turned away," David Reynolds with the Board of Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation said. "We figured there would be 7,000 or 8,000 adults watching it so the income into Springfield and Branson are going to be quiet large next weekend."

It's great for Branson, especially since it will be here for at least three years now. But the tournament may be even better for kids like Evan Kilmer, who competed last year.

Organizers with the archery in schools program says the sport builds confidence and a lot more in kids.

"It focuses you and you can't relieve the pressure from yourself, and give it to somebody else, it's all you, so you really have to focus and concentrate," seventh grader Evan Kilmer said.

Not only is the competition in a new place it's offering new incentives for competitors, like college scholarships.

"To me it raises the bar to a whole new level I mean it's quiet an honor to be a state champion, but to bring it to the level to scholarships and others I think it's quiet a change," Reynolds said.

It's an exciting new event for Branson, and one that may inspire some of our youngest Missourians to start target practice early.

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