A 2013 research report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation entitled Analysis of Sport Shooting Participation in the U.S. 2008-2012 found that not only were new shooters likely to be younger with 66% falling in the 18-to-34-year-old age group, but they were also likely to be female. NSSF’s findings showed that 37% of new target shooters were women.
Looking around the grounds of the World Shooting & Recreational Complex in Sparta, Illinois, it’s clear that young women are a fast growing segment of both the Scholastic Clay Target Program and the Scholastic Pistol Program.
At this year’s National Team Championships those young ladies with shotguns slung over their shoulders, and those with a pistol tucked away in their range bag, make up 18.4% of the total 2,800-plus athletes in attendance. Among the 2,466 shotgunners they are 17.6% while on the pistol ranges they account for nearly a quarter (24.3%) of the 345 competitors.
If the broad smiles exhibited during Wednesday night’s Opening Ceremony are any indication, the number of young female athletes participating in the shooting programs of the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation is likely to grow.