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Hollywood Triggers Increase In Archery Sport In Oklahoma

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Blockbuster films 'Brave' and 'The Hunger Games' lead to a newfound interest in the sport of archery. Blockbuster films 'Brave' and 'The Hunger Games' lead to a newfound interest in the sport of archery.
Long-time coach and judge Jane Johnson heads up the Junior Olympic Archery Development Club in Oklahoma City. Long-time coach and judge Jane Johnson heads up the Junior Olympic Archery Development Club in Oklahoma City.
The JOAD Club meets at various places to practices on Saturdays. The JOAD Club meets at various places to practices on Saturdays.

Deanne Stein, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Two blockbuster movies lead to a newfound interest in a sport historically associated with hunting and combat. And for one long time Oklahoma coach and judge, it's a welcome sight.

Jane Johnson may be in her 70's, but she's still sharp as an arrow. She took up the sport of archery in the 1970's, but found her true passion was coaching and judging.

"A judge has to be willing to be in the background," said Johnson. "Basically, a judge keeps a tournament moving along and makes sure it's safe."

And in the background is where she's been for the past 30 years, judging six to seven tournaments around the country each year. Each Saturday, though, she spends her time at H&H Shooting Sports in Oklahoma City, teaching her love of the sport to others.

"It's wonderful seeing the kids pick up a bow and arrow," she said. "It's amazing how much the program has grown."

In fact, enrollment in the Junior Olympic Archery Development Club has tripled in the last six months, primarily because of Hollywood.

"I watched ‘The Hunger Games' and I really wanted to do that," said Allison Ward, one of the archery students. "And I watched 'Brave' and that was really fun to watch."

Johnson said it's those two movies specifically that have fueled the recent interest in archery.

"I think it just opened her eyes to it," said Allison's mother. "That it's not just for the boys, but that she could do it."

And these kids couldn't have a more qualified instructor. Johnson has decades of coaching and judging experience, once serving as a scoring judge at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. She also has a national judging award named in her honor.

The Junior Olympic Archery Development Club is for people six to 20 years old and they meet on Saturdays.

Find out more about the JOAD club!

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