Physical education (PE) teachers from across Alabama recently learned how to incorporate fishing and archery into their physical education programs during an Alabama State Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (ASAHPERD) conference held in Birmingham. Alabama’s PE teachers are constantly finding new ways to involve students in lifelong physical activities. Fishing and archery are natural activities to use in the context of a physical education program.
Fishing is one of Alabama’s most popular activities, but each year fewer young people become anglers. Today students are overwhelmed with multiple entertainment options such as electronic devices and organized sports, which makes them less likely to fish in local fishing holes. However, fishing can be enjoyed as a social activity by students with a wide range of abilities making it a natural choice for school physical education programs.
During the ASAHPERD conference, Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division (WFF) Fisheries Biologist Maurice Jackson taught PE teachers how to conduct casting programs. The teachers also learned how WFF loans rods and reels to teachers for casting classes. WFF Aquatic Education Coordinator Doug Darr introduced the PE teachers to the fundamentals of teaching fishing. Instructors who want to teach fishing classes in their schools can receive materials and extensive training by calling Darr at (334) 242-3884.
WFF’s National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) has been a resounding success with PE teachers. Archery is a life skill enjoyed by people of varying physical ability, gender, ethnicity and age. NASP is a beginning archery program conducted in a gymnasium using state of the art equipment and netting to provide a safe shooting environment. Currently 210 Alabama schools participate in NASP. NASP culminates with several regional qualifying events and a state championship held annually in April at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC). NASP is a partnership between the Alabama Department of Education and WFF. Questions about NASP program should be directed to Wildlife Biologist Marisa Lee, NASP Coordinator for WFF, at (800) 245-2740. To learn more about other WFF outreach programs call 334-242-3465.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.OutdoorAlabama.com.