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The Hunger Games Inspires Pint-Sized Archers

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The Hunger Games has set the record for the third-largest weekend debut, the biggest March opening of all time, and continues to sit at number one in the box office (we here at the Parenting offices aren’t immune—there’s been a lot of talk about who’s seen it, who will see it twice, and who still plans to go). With so much buzz, it comes as no surprise that children are flocking to archery ranges to emulate the story’s bow-toting heroine, Katniss Everdeen, as the Chicago Tribune reports.

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While archery’s popularity has been steadily on the rise for years, archery ranges report a dramatic increase in traffic within the past few months. According to the NY Daily News, two indoor archery ranges in Queens, New York have reported as much as a 75 percent spike in traffic. And in the past year alone, the Archery Trade Association has noted a 20 percent increase in equipment sales.

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A large part of this appeal is attributed to the Katniss factor. "I think the kids now have heroes in the sport," Teresa Iaconi, spokeswoman of USA Archery, tells the Tribune. "Now you've got Katniss with her bow, and she's badass. We have a lot of kids getting into the sport, and a lot of them are saying it's because of 'Hunger Games.'"

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Driven by the surge of interest in the sport, the Department of Education has green-lit a program that will allow students to practice Olympic-style archery in California and New York public schools, reports the NY Post. But after The Hunger Games leaves theaters, little archers won’t have to look far for more arrow-aiming inspiration: Merida, heroine of the upcoming Pixar film Brave, is also pretty handy with a bow.

Have your kids been clamoring to try their hand at archery after watching The Hunger Games? How do you feel about this new trend?

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