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Young Archers Abound in Central Florida

Tampa Tribune

Sydney Sullenburger is a fifth-grader attending Nelson Elementary School, and she is just one of the many young archers in Hillsborough County, Fla. 

Sullenburger hopes to compete in the Olympics like her world-champion uncle, Darrell Pace, and she regularly participates in after-school archery programs.

Leading the way to create opportunities for these young archers is Dani Edelmann. An instructor and archery lover, Edelmann has helped six county schools incorporate archery into their physical-education curriculum for fourth through 12th grades.

Adventures Archery in Riverview, Fla., is one of the many places that caters to young archers, offering a range of courses for beginners and advanced archers. The facility conducts archery lessons four nights a week, with 10 students to each class.

Young archers who are more developed are encouraged to join the AAU Junior Olympic Archery Development Program, which holds its lessons at Adventures Archery. The program is designed to give Olympic hopefuls the training and practice they need to be considered for world competition.

Meagan Petitt is a 17-year-old senior attending Brandon High School, and she enjoys regularly visiting the facility.

"It's a lot of fun. I hope one day to get to the world competitive level," she told reporters.

Although other youth-oriented sports attract thousands of participants, Edelmann told reporters, "Archery in Hillsborough County is huge."

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Young Archers Abound in Central Florida