While the casual observer may not find many similarities between Foley, Alabama and The Bahamas, the two destinations have quite a bit in common. Both are tourism veterans, who have recently pushed further into the niche of sports tourism. Both are also committed to growing the sport of archery.
This year will be the fourth year Foley’s Graham Creek Nature Preserve has had the privilege to host the Archery Shooters Association (ASA) Hoyt Archery Alabama Pro/Am, February 20 – 24. Each year the event has grown, becoming a premier event on the Foley Sports Tourism (FST) calendar. This year’s tournament is likely to draw close to 2,000 archers and their families to the city.
The Bahamas is hoping to emulate that success with budding events like The Bahamas Shoot in Freeport, Grand Bahama. Antonio Abraham, Director of Bahamas Field Archery Association, said the archipelago has long been known for tennis, swimming, basketball, and track and field; but archery is quickly working its way onto that list.
Abraham said he was in Foley last year and is looking forward to returning to see how they can replicate some of the event’s success.
“I am always fascinated by the organization, precision, efficiency, and professionalism of the ASA team to host these major archery events,” Abraham said. “The contribution the City of Foley brings to the Hoyt Pro/Am is exceptional. I hope to learn more of the inner workings of this type of collaboration and see how best we can get more local organizations in Freeport, Grand Bahama involved in The Bahamas Shoot.”
Graham Creek Nature Preserve Environmental Manager Leslie Gahagan works closely with ASA to make sure that collaboration stays as smooth as it appears to Abraham.
“ASA brings so much to the City of Foley in what used to be known as a quiet season,” Gahagan said. “We want to make sure we are doing all we can to keep our relationship strong. The archery tournament provides the perfect timing for a balance between nature and recreation at Graham Creek.”
Pro Pressure Point Shootdown
Many things about this year’s Pro/Am are the same as previous years: a large vendor village, multiple archery ranges, numerous divisions for all ages, participants (like Abraham) coming from around the world; however, there will be a few new aspects. This year’s Pro Pressure Point Shootdown, during which thousands in prize money will be awarded to the professional archers, will be held inside the Foley Event Center.
“We’re excited to put a new spin on the Shootdown,” Gahagan said. “Now we can accommodate hundreds of spectators without having to worry about the weather. This is something ASA has inquired about previously and this year we’ve finally gotten the opportunity to make it happen.”
The Pro Pressure Point Shootdown and the Hoyt Archery Alabama Pro/Am are free and open to the public. Fans and spectators can expect to encounter visitors from around the world if they attend the event, whether it’s someone from the local Foley archery club or a new friend from an island in the Caribbean.
For more information on the Hoyt Archery Alabama Pro/Am or the Pro Pressure Point Shootdown visit our events page.