Archers competing in the 2015 World Archery Youth Championships (WAYC) were given the opportunity to return home with a small piece of the world after competition concludes Sunday.
On Wednesday evening, a swap event at the Easton Archery Yankton Complex allowed the contestants from 51 countries to exchange small items of significance from their country with fellow archers.
"We’ve modeled it after Science Olympiad," said Stephanie Moser, director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau in Yankton. "It was something our Science Olympiad team does when they go to competitions. They have each team bring items to swap with other teams."
Archers were encouraged to bring a handful of small items to be exchanged so they could swap multiple times during the allotted, one-hour time frame.
"What is really fun is that even when you swap, if you notice something you’d really like, you can swap your item multiple times," Moser said.
Common items included T-shirts, magnets, pins, hats, bracelets and key chains.
"It’s the meeting of the different cultures that had me excited to participate," said Great Britain archer Struan Caughey. "I liked seeing what different people like and what they brought to the swap."
Eliana Claps, member of the United States team from Seattle, said the swap taught her something valuable.
"I learned that we’re all people here," she said. "It’s nice to see that we’re similar."
Students from Yankton School District were also invited to partake in the swapping of international items.
"We’ve invited students from the Yankton School District because we thought it might be a great chance for locals to bring items to switch with other countries and learn something about their culture," Moser said.
Students on the Yankton Science Olympiad team brought South Dakota-themed items. Archers could swap for South Dakota pins, magnets, books, bags, South Dakota Magazine issues and license plates.
Katie Hammond, a freshman at Yankton High School, said this was her third swap, having done it twice before at Science Olympiad competitions.
"It’s similar (to Science Olympiad) because everyone is trying to get things from different places," she said. "It’s different because it’s worldwide. You get items from different countries instead of different states."
Hammond enjoyed the international market.
"You don’t get to go worldwide most of the time," she said. "When you’re here, you can get items from other countries without having to actually go there."
The swap night also included a pizza-and-ice cream social.
A variety of approximately 10 pizzas were donated or highly discounted by six local pizza restaurants. Charlie’s donated their "The Works" pizza, "Buffalo Chicken" pizza was donated by Pizza Ranch, Pizza Hut made "Classic Cheese," "Sausage and Beef" was donated by MOJO’s, Godfathers donated Pepperoni and "Double Meat" was provided by Cottonwood.
Archers were asked to go around a central table and taste a sample of each pizza from the six locations. After tasting each, archers cast their vote for their favorite.
The restaurant that provided the winning pizza will later be presented a certificate to display in their restaurant.
The ice cream cups were donated by Schwans.
"It’s nice to get to talk with the other countries outside of competition, where everyone is relaxed and at ease having fun," Claps said. "It’s nice to see our competitor’s real side, not just the competitive side."
"It’s really cool that these countries are coming here to compete, but they still bond and support each other," Moser said. "We’re really excited that they’re here to compete against each other to win a title, but they still mix and mingle and get to know one another. That is our hope, (that archers) learn a little more about each other’s culture."
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