Jersey Retirement for NASP® World Champ
National Archery in the Schools Program Press Release
“Jersey Retirement for NASP® World Champ”
By: Brittany J Jones
January 22, 2018
It’s been an age-old tradition and common practice among many popular sports to retire the jerseys of exemplary athletes. From Lou Gehrig in 1939 to Joe DiMaggio in 52’, and Michael Jordan in 2003, players have been honored by having their numbers on display for spectators like you and I. Of course Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) were the first organizations to have started this tradition, but many new sports have followed, not only in the professional leagues, but in schools and colleges, as well.
Since the National Archery in the School’s Program’s (NASP®) inception in 2002, over 18 million youth have participated in the archery program in more than fourteen thousand schools across the world, including in the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa, and from these schools have come many outstanding student archers who have already, in the their young lives, obtained titles such as “State, National, and World Champions.” One archer in particular not only has received these titles, but recently had his jersey retired, like so many phenomenal athletes before him.
Henry Thompson, a ninth grader, who attends Anderson County High School in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, began shooting NASP® archery in the fourth grade. Over the many years of shooting, Henry’s hard work and dedication has paid off with eleven state, national, and world NASP® bullseye and NASP®/IBO 3D Challenge titles from 2015 through 2017. Along with all of these titles, he has also been awarded thousands of dollars in cash scholarships to use at any secondary or higher education institution, after he graduates High School in four years!
The hard-work and perseverance that Henry has put in over the years not only earned him these titles, but has also landed his very own jersey a place of honor within the Anderson County Middle School. “I’m very proud and honored that they chose to retire my jersey. It meant so much that all the blood, sweat, and tears that went into practice and tournaments are getting recognized. It makes me feel good to know that everyone from here on out gets to see my jersey, and let it be a reminder to them that they can do what I did too, with a little hard work. This is also exciting to me to know that my kids could maybe one day see my jersey at their school.”
NASP® not only produces amazing and talented athletes, but it has long been recognized for aiding students with their academics and social skills. Through NASP®, students have learned focusing techniques that have not only helped them on the archery range, but in the classroom as well. Students like Henry have also said it has encouraged them to become more sociable. When asked how archery has impacted his life personally and academically, Henry had this to say. “I believe shooting has personally made me more sociable because I’ve gotten to talk to more people, and it has helped me academically because it has taught me to be more focused.”
Of course Henry isn’t the only one over the moon about his retired jersey! His parents have been with him since day one of this amazing journey! Holly Thompson, Henry’s mom, had some kind and encouraging words for what this road has been like for them. “As parents, we have seen all the hard work and dedication that Henry has put forth with archery as well as keeping up his schoolwork and grades. The NASP® and NASP®/IBO Programs have provided an opportunity for our son to flourish in an activity that he loves as well as provide scholarship opportunities for his education. It has been a joy for us, as parents, to be along on this journey with Henry and watch him grow in this sport. We’ve seen Henry make friends with archers across the country that he keeps in contact with on a regular basis! When we saw his jersey hanging in the middle school, it was such a proud parent moment for us. Archery sometimes doesn’t get the recognition it deserves in relation to other school sports so we not only felt this was a huge honor for Henry, it was a milestone for the archery program as well.”
NASP® is the largest archery program in the world, offering youth from all over the opportunity to excel in a sport different from the traditional ball sports. It has helped students maintain and improve academic excellence, enhance self-confidence, and afforded youngsters with life-long friendships, as we can see from Henry’s case! Congratulations Henry on all your amazing accomplishments, and we look forward to seeing you at the Eastern Nationals at Louisville, Kentucky this spring!