The Newport News Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department made its archery safety course virtual during the coronavirus.
Andy Lunsford, superintendent of park operations, said the free safety course is a PowerPoint presentation usually taught in the classroom. But because of COVID-19, the city buildings were closed and the department decided to turn the presentation into a video.
“We’re not teaching you how to shoot, just the safety rules for our range,” he added.
The course talks about the Newport News Park’s 65-yard archery range and 11 safety rules. After watching the video, the archer takes a quiz before sending their answers in an email to the parks and recreation department. If approved, the archer will get their safety card in the mail.
“You don’t have to be an expert shot to shoot on our range,” he said, adding the park does not provide shooting instruction.
Most people taking the safety course are not beginners. In fact, Lunsford said beginners get instruction through the local bait and tackle shop or in the school district programs.
“It’s a lot of experienced shooters,” he said. “They come here to fine-tune their skills.”
Lunsford said the department put the virtual safety course on their website a couple weeks ago and so far nearly 40 people have taken the course.
Normally, the archery safety course is taught twice a month and teaches several hundred people a year.
While the online course is successful, Lunsford said it is temporary and the department may decide to have the course outside under the picnic benches.
Daily archery range fee is $2.
For more information about the Archery Safety Course, visit the Newport News Parks and Recreation’s website.
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