Austin, Texas — Join me in welcoming Rhonda Esakov, Georgetown, as the new Youth Shooting Sports Coordinator for the Texas State Rifle Association (TSRA). She will begin her new duties effective October 3rd and work out of the TSRA headquarters in Austin.
A selection committee comprised of TSRA Junior Program and Shooting Directors, a TSRA Foundation Board Member and the TSRA executive director selected Esakov from a field of outstanding candidates vying for the newly created position. The coordinator will oversee a program sponsored and funded by the TSRA Foundation, through the generosity and funding provided by Larry and Brenda Potterfield, owners of Midway USA. The purpose of the program is to “get kids pulling triggers…” and to foster an atmosphere conducive to families finding more opportunities for their kids to participate in introductory firearm safety and shooting sports programs in Texas. Primary partners include Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s hunter education and shooting sports programs; Texas AgriLife Extension’s 4-H Shooting Sports Program, and Texas Wildlife Association’s Youth Hunting Program.
TSRA has been selected to implement the comprehensive program alongside its popular junior shooting competitive programs, CMP, Air Gun, Club-in-a-Box, youth hunting and other youth shooting efforts.
Esakov is adept at working with young/novice shooters. A list of her qualifications and recognitions is certainly impressive when it comes to introducing Texans to responsible and safe shooting and hunting practices:
· NRA Training Counselor [Provide training for people to become certified instructors]
· NRA Chief Range Safety Officer [Provide training and support for gun ranges and train new Range Safety Officers]
· NRA Instructor – Rifle, Muzzle loading Rifle, Shotgun, Muzzle loading Shotgun, Pistol, Home Firearm Safety
· TPWD – Hunter Education – Instructor and Area Chief
· NAA/NADA Archery Instructor
· First Aid & CPR
· Merit Badge & Summer Camp Counselor for Boy Scouts of America
· Becoming an Outdoor Woman [a TPWD program] Instructor for 5 years
· Women’s Wilderness Escape [an NRA program] Instructor for Pistol in New Mexico
· Outdoor Family [a TPWD program] – work with training Parks & Recreation Departments on how to run a safe shooting program; also work the events themselves such as Georgetown Outdoor Family Events.
· International Hunter Education “ Volunteer Instructor of the Year” – awarded June 2010 (55,000 instructors nationwide)
· Nominated, “NRA Marion P. Hammer Woman of Distinction Award”, 2010
Esakov will hit the ground running –coordinating youth shooting events at October fairs, shows and festivals and working on partnerships at state, regional and local levels.
An official program announcement will be issued once Esakov is officially on board, but I wanted you to know that TSRA and the TSRA Foundation are ready to work enthusiastically with all of its partners to enhance youth shooting sports efforts here in Texas. I’m sure Rhonda is ready, too!
Steve Hall, Executive Director
Texas State Rifle Association
314 E. Highland Mall Blvd., Suite 300
Austin, TX 78752