Many of them are teachers who are interested in archery, such as Rouk, who was a chemistry and biology teacher at Beggs High School before joining the Wildlife Department last year.
Also a longtime employee of Pat’s Archery in Okmulgee, Rouk was certified by the Wildlife Department in 2005 as an archery instructor for Beggs High School and has seen the popularity of the sport explode.
“It’s mostly due to the fact that archery is just fun and it appeals to a wide variety of people,” he said.
Rouk has worked at the Okmulgee archery shop for 25 years, selling and repairing bows. Archery in the Schools has been good for the archery business, he said, as more parents are buying bows for their children.
Kids who are being introduced to archery through the school are transitioning into shooters as adults, either competing in Olympic target archery or bow hunting, he said. Archery can be a lifelong sport.
“You don’t have to be a particularly good athlete to do it,” Rouk said. “It’s probably more of a mental sport.”
The first flight in the Archery in the Schools state championships will begin at 9 a.m. in the Travel and Transportation Building at State Fair Park. Competition will last throughout the day.
Team and individual championships will be awarded in elementary, middle and high school divisions. The winners also will qualify for nationals.