About Our Program
What is JOAD?
JOAD, or Junior Olympic Archery Development, is a youth archery program put on by USA Archery for archers ages 8-20. JOAD clubs are places where youth archers can enjoy frequent practices with other dedicated archers like them while learning new skills and earning awards for their achievements. JOAD achievement pins are earned according to an individual archer's scores and become more difficult to earn as the archer progresses. They are collected and proudly displayed by archers on special lanyards for each bow type and shooting environment (indoor/outdoor). Bronze, Silver and Gold Olympian awards can also be earned for exceptional scores.
Archers join JOAD clubs for many reasons, from just having fun to perfecting their form, but many also are interested in becoming competitive archers and experiencing real archery tournaments. If desired, registered USA Archery JOAD members can choose to compete in various JOAD and USA Archery tournaments in their state and across the nation. In addition, JOAD clubs hold an official scoring shoot on their home practice range every season and mail in the results to be tabulated in the quarterly USA Archery National JOAD Mail-In Shoot. Certificates are awarded to national winners each quarter.
The JOAD program recognizes four bow types for earning achievement pins and participating in mail-in tournaments: compound, basic compound (often a bare Genesis bow or similar), barebow (traditional or recurve), and Olympic style recurve. Most sanctioned tournaments have classes only for compound, barebow and Olympic style recurve.
About the Golden Arrow Archers
The Chesterfield Golden Arrow Archers formed in March of 2014 with sixteen founding members and two coaches. These archers had previously been members of a county recreational archery club (the Star Shooters Youth Archery Club) and were looking to increase their skills and enter into competitive archery. Club practices are held through Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation programs with five eight-week practice sessions per year. Practice sessions are registered through the county Parks & Rec department in advance each season. In addition, club members usually opt to also register as official members of USA Archery (a small yearly membership fee applies) in order to compete in mail-in, local, state and national tournaments.
The CGAA club is not a beginners or introductory archery program. Archers interested in joining the Golden Arrow Archers JOAD club must have experience with archery and must own all of their own quality archery equipment, including a bow, arrows, quiver, and all desired accessories. Generally, those new to archery are required to first join the county's recreational archery club, the Chesterfield Star Shooters, to learn the basics of target archery safety, form, scoring and etiquette. Archery equipment is provided to all archers in the Star Shooters club so new archers can become familiar with different styles of bows and be sure of their decision before investing in their own set up. If a prospective new JOAD member already has had experience and prior instruction in archery, the requirement to first join the Star Shooters rec club may be waived with permission from the head coach. For more information about the recreational youth archery club, visit Rockwood Nature Center's website.
Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation supports the JOAD club and archers by providing both indoor and outdoor practice spaces, coaches, and some range equipment such as backstops and target stands. In order to help fund the purchase of expensive archery targets and additional range improvements, the Chesterfield Golden Arrow Archers also has an official club board and club meetings made up of JOAD archers' parents who assist with running fundraisers and purchasing items outside the abilities or budget of Chesterfield County. All parents of JOAD archers are encouraged to participate in the meetings and assist with occasional projects and fundraisers as needed.
Archery is a unique sport that combines mental toughness with physical skill to perform to the best of the archer's abilities. Those who pursue archery learn discipline, focus, maturity and sportsmanship while enjoying a supportive coaching environment and having fun with fellow archers.
Although many archers choose to compete in tournaments, the focus of archery is not often on "beating" an opponent or winning the competition. Instead archers aim to increase their skills and focus on their personal bests and goals, using tournaments as vehicles for measuring those skills and goals. Archery is an independent and internal sport that is played in a group setting, and many archers enjoy the feeling of being part of a team while still competing individually.
The different styles of archery encourage many types of people to participate, from those seeking very traditional (even historical) styles and materials, to those who appreciate high tech gadgets and modern materials. In addition, although many archers do consider themselves athletic, the sport of archery often appeals to those who are not athletic or sporty types and who may not enjoy traditional team sports. This, along with the fact that archery can be adapted to suit people with mental or physical disabilities, makes archery a fantastic choice for just about anyone who wants to try it!
Fosters good sportsmanship
Builds self confidence
Increases upper body strength
Is accessible to individuals with physical or mental disabilities
Builds coordination and body awareness
Increases mental awareness and focus
Focuses on individual achievements
Gets kids outside and active
Can be enjoyed competitively or recreationaly all through adulthood
Is rewarding and fun!