While spending time at the Scholastic Action Shooting Sports (SASP) Nationals, I couldn’t help but be impressed by the amazing youth involved in the shooting sports. These young athletes are kind, respectful, polite and encouraging. Honestly, they are a pleasure to be around.
Sponsored by The NSSF and ProjectChildSafe
The SASP offers youth from grade school through college the opportunity to safely participate in team-based action shooting sports. According to its website,“SASP is designed to instill in young people a set of personal values and character traits for fair play, compassionate understanding, individual responsibility, sportsmanship, self-discipline, and personal commitment. As the sport itself, these qualities will stay with them throughout their lifetimes, helping each young athlete reach his or her full potential.”
The 2019 SASP National Championships saw 1,535 entries in Rimfire Pistol, Centerfire Pistol, 1911 Class Pistol, Iron Rifle, Optics Rifle and Pistol Caliber Rifle –a record-breaking event. Sixty-five teams, from 20 states with 562 athletes, competed. These competitors shot a whopping 220,000 shots throughout the 8-day event.
I had the opportunity to interview some of the athletes and asked the question, “What do you like the most about your sport?” Watch their answers below, in this Project ChildSafe Video.
I mentioned to the athletes that August is National Shooting Sports Month. So I asked, “What would you say to encourage other people to come out and try your sport?” Below are some of their answers.
“More people should learn how to use firearms correctly and how to have fun with them.” ~Renee Enchautegui
“Just come out here and try it. Don’t be afraid to try new things. I understand that some people don’t like shooting, but just be a spectator first. If you like it, try it out.” ~ Elyssa Dolar
“The shooting community is the best people you will ever meet. You can start slow, you don’t have to go straight into a competition setting if that’s not what you’re comfortable with. Just go for it! Start with a .22 and work your way up. Just try it.”” ~ Camille Patenaude
“If you’re interested in getting involved, make sure you do it in the safest way possible. Go to a range you know that has people well versed in the shooting sports. Talk to a coach, teacher and maybe try to be part of a club.” ~ Isabella Farias
“If you’ve never tried it, try it and you might like it. Most kids on my team tried it and they love it.” ~Hailey Chester
The shooting sports will only grow if we take the time to introduce it to younger generations. It’s up to us to influence and inspire these kids to respect firearms and continue the sport.