SHERIDAN— Archery takes knowledge, precision, discipline, strength and concentration. But with enough practice, it can be done by anyone and that’s why Eric Nations loves it.
This weekend, a group of volunteers will be hosting an archery competition called the 3-D Tournament, allowing both young and experienced archers to compete in friendly, family-oriented events.
There will be more than $5,000 in door prizes given away, including a free bow, equipment autographed by the top performers in the archery world and other archery equipment. All youth will receive a medal for participating.
Proceeds for the event will benefit Big Horn Archery and Outdoors which is Nations’ newly-formed nonprofit archery program based on building family involvement while providing growth, knowledge and ethics in today’s youth.
When he founded his archery shop, Nationswide Sports, a little more than three months ago, Nations wanted to launch a youth program in which kids could develop a wholesome activity. What started out small with just a handful of participants grew into a massive community effort.
“It blossomed to almost the point to where we almost outgrew capacity because we preach a good, Christian … moral base (with the youth program),” Nations said.
While the group was gaining momentum, Nations founded a nonprofit to bolster the efforts. He found the right people to fill the ranks of his board and Big Horn Archery and Outdoors was born.
“We wanted to build an archery program, like other communities have, that has a best in class mentality — people who are positive, can-do and like to work with kids,” Nations said.
“We’ve developed, what I feel, is one of the strongest boards I’ve been a part of in my 30 years of archery,” Nations added.
Nationswide Sports had been hosting archery sessions several times per week including a Thursday night family league where parents and their children compete with one another. On Fridays, the business hosts a fun night when everyone can compete and Saturday it hosts a children’s league.
Nations calls archery a fantastic sport for all people — he’s found those who may not have the natural ability or skill to exceed in other sports can find success in archery. Through shooting, children learn discipline while adopting a healthy and clean outdoor lifestyle.
“If you have a place after hunting season to come in and keep your skills up, eat good food … enjoy clean, family camaraderie where no one is cussing and there is no booze involved,” Nations said, “you are going to bring your kids, you are going to bring your wife and you are going to turn that into a family fun event. And that is what we have prided ourselves to build.”
The Spring into Summer 3-D archery tournament will be held from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and from 7-11 a.m. Sunday at 1348 Big Goose Road west of Sheridan. All are welcome to participate in the event.