A fourth-grader from Ray Childers Elementary School is the first-ever student from North Carolina to win top honors at the recent National Archery in Schools (NASP) Tournament and the Centershot Ministries National Tournament held in Louisville, Ky.
Natalie Bell of Hickory earned the title of National Champion in the Elementary Girls Division at the 2018 NASP tournament, scoring 293 out of 300 potential points. She was also crowned National Champion in the Elementary Girls and Elementary Boys Division at the 2018 Centershot Ministries tournament, scoring 291 out of 300 possible points. Additionally, Bell earned member status in the Elementary Division of the 2018 NASP All-American Academic Archery Team.
Natalie is the daughter of Clint Bell, a master officer with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Law Enforcement Division. She began participating in archery events as a third-grader.
“We are so grateful for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, Lee Scripture, Coach Michael Steele and Burke County Public Schools for their dedication to growing the NASP program,” Officer Bell said. “Without the partnerships between these people, the Ray Childers Elementary School archery team and our daughter would not have had the opportunities to compete in such an awesome program. Watching the team win the state championship and our daughter become a national champion were very special moments for us.”
On June 8–9, Bell represented North Carolina at the 2018 NASP World Tournament and the 2018 Centershot Ministries World Tour in Louisville, Ky. At the event, archers from multiple nations will compete at 10 and 15-meter distances to earn the title of World Champion.
“I am very excited to have Natalie representing North Carolina at the NASP World Tournament,” said Lee Scripture, the Commission’s archery education coordinator. “She is the first person from our state to place nationally in NASP, and I know she will continue to make us proud. The North Carolina program is growing each year largely due to our young scholar-athletes like Natalie Bell.”
Natalie competed in the Elementary Girls Divisions at both tournaments. She finished in second place out of 616 participants in the 2018 World NASP Tournament with a score of 285 out of 300 points. She also took fifth place in the World Centershot Ministries Tournament with a score of 280 out of 300 points.
“It feels good to work hard, practice and listen to my coaches then see the good results that my team and I have gotten,” said Natalie Bell. “It has been fun and exciting to compete and meet people from different places.”
The National Archery in Schools Program teaches and promotes international-style target archery as part of an in-school curriculum to improve educational performance and participation in the shooting sports among students in grades 4-12. For more information, or to find out how your school can participate, visit www.naspschools.org.