May 19, 2010
NSSF Grants Fuel Growth in Collegiate Target Shooting
On college campuses across the country, men and women are taking up the shooting sports in increasing numbers — from Harvard to Jacksonville University to the University of Colorado.
To encourage this growth trend, NSSF last year began providing grants through its Collegiate Shooting Sports Initiative to support the development of varsity teams for those students interested in competition and create clubs for students interested in the recreational and social benefits of target shooting.
“After just one round of grants, NSSF has seen participation in target shooting grow significantly at colleges,” said Zach Snow, NSSF’s senior shooting sports coordinator. “We’re just getting started, so the sky’s the limit. All it takes to form a team or club is for a dedicated coach, faculty member or student to step up and lead the way. Once that happens, participants follow.”
Here’s how NSSF’s Collegiate Shooting Sports Initiative is making target shooting a common activity on campus:
- Jacksonville University began a sporting clays, skeet and trap club program thanks to the work of master-level instructor David Dobson, who will join the JU faculty this fall to teach a class on the theory of wingshooting and continue as the program’s head coach. Dobson’s work at Jacksonville inspired one of his shooting students to launch a clays shooting club at the University of North Florida, a team Dobson also coaches. Said Dobson, “NSSF’s grant program has energized both coaches and student participants to promote collegiate target shooting. In NSSF, we now have a resource to turn to for funding and non-monetary assistance, particularly in the early stages of creating a program when support is most needed. NSSF’s support will be significant to our success moving forward.”
- Trinity College and Schreiner University promoted introductory seminars where new shooters learned how to safely handle firearms and were introduced to shooting games for rifle, shotgun and handgun.
- The first New England Collegiate Clay Target Championships, supported by NSSF, featured teams from Harvard, Harvard Law, Yale, Brown, Tufts and the University of Vermont.
- Last month’s ACUI College Clay Target Championships were the largest ever with 40 teams participating, some new or expanded programs thanks to grants from NSSF.
- The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, assisted by a grant from NSSF, finished as the fourth-ranked air rifle team in the country at the inaugural NRA Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championship at Purdue University.