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Feature Article king of archery By Katelyn Schramm, Guest Writer Yankton is home to an impressive, 100 acre, state of the art archery training facility...the largest in the world, actually. WORLD’S LARGEST ARCHERY CENTER! Yes, writing that in all capital letters makes it look like I’m shouting at you. I am- because that is a big deal. The NFAA Easton Yankton Archery Center (NEYAC), located in Yankton, SD, is the world’s largest archery center. You have to understand, it’s not like I’m telling you that Yankton has the world’s largest ball of yarn or the world’s largest fire hydrant (sorry to the communities that I just called out). Having the world’s largest archery complex means that Yankton gets to host some of the world’s best archery competitions with the world’s best archers. Since its completion in 2009, the Archery Center has hosted over 100 tournaments for everyone from youth archers to professionals. The fact that it’s the world’s largest archery center does not mean you have to be an archery champion to enjoy it. The center is open to the public seven days a week and has opportunities for all skill levels. This top-notch facility’s 90M Indoor Range (which is an entire city block for those of you that are not great with distance), 3D Range, Outdoor Target Fields, and three Field Archery Courses (think golf but with bows and arrows) certainly draw the experts. Those that run the facility are also quite conscious of the desire to keep the doors open to everyone. 32 | Yankton Visitors Guide | www.VisitYanktonSD.com Bruce Cull, NEYAC Center Director, said, “I often hear that people think that the facility is an Olympic training center, and many do not know it is open to the public. We’ve thought about getting a sign to put by the road to share the message that it is open to the public because that’s something we find pretty special. This is a facility built for world class tournaments, but it has an open door and a welcome mat for all. That’s unique.” In speaking with Bruce and his staff, you could tell they genuinely want people to come explore. In fact, NEYAC even offers day use passes for a nominal fee that varies based on the sport in which one wishes to engage, but the day pass includes the equipment rental fee. I asked if I could walk in off the street and be able to spend the day with no sports knowledge and no equipment, and was told, “Yes! We actually really enjoy it when people come in to learn and to try something new. That’s why we have everything availableso that people can use it!” While some of you might have the skills to walk in, pay for a day pass, get outfitted with equipment, and be good to go, NEYAC offers lessons with certified instructors for the rest of us. Individual and group archery lessons are currently available with plans to offer lessons in the other sports offered at the facility. Yes, that’s right- there are other sports available at the NEYAC.