Sheriff’s office sponsors archery courses for students

Published 7:47 pm Wednesday, October 25, 2017

HYDE COUNTY — Students of all ages are learning the art of archery, thanks to a sponsorship from Hyde County Sheriff’s Office.

Starting this school year, officers began traveling to schools on the mainland and on Ocracoke to provide a weeks-long course on archery. The course is incorporated into the schools’ physical education programs.

The sheriff’s office, after contacting the National Archery in the Schools Program, was able to partner with Hyde County Schools and provide bows, arrows and targets for use during the courses.

“The sheriff’s office sponsored the program for the school system because there’s not really a whole lot down here, and we are a big hunting community,” said Sgt. Charles Herina, with the Hyde County Sheriff’s Office. “There’s a lot of benefits to being able to shoot archery.”

Two teachers and two officers are on hand to lead the archery program at each of the schools, and the course lasts for three or four weeks, according to Herina.

“We let the school pick when they’re going to do it,” Herina said. “The students, most of them responded pretty positively. … I think, for the most part, the students seem to like it.”

He said instructors start out by teaching an 11-step technique pattern for every use of the bow and arrow, and as time progresses, students are able to shoot on their own toward a target.

“Archery is safe and fun, but you still have safety because you are shooting a weapon,” Herina said. “After they get the technique down, they’re able to shoot.”

The idea to incorporate archery into P.E. classes was simply a way to give students another outlet to explore, Herina said. If a student enjoys it, he can continue to pursue it on his own time, and so can the school as a whole.

“They can make a club out of it and actually go to competitions,” he said. “That’s going to be up to the school to do that.”

Not only that, the program allows students to interact with law enforcement in a relaxed, positive setting, Herina added.

“It gives them the chance to see us in a different aspect,” he said. “It gives them something they can do on their own later.”