More than 2500 young shooters, along with thousands of coaches, family members, and supporters, descended upon the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta, Ill. last week for the largest youth shooting event ever held, the SCTP and SPP National Championships.
The July 14-19 event saw significant increases in virtually every metric over 2013’s record-setting Nationals. In the SCTP event alone, competitors shot 715,000 targets, a 35% increase over last year. Shooters from 175 SCTP teams came from 26 states.
SPP also saw its own increases. In only its second Junior/Senior National Championship, SPP experienced an increase of 62% in participant numbers, hosting 326 shooters representing 39 teams from 15 states. Earlier this year, SPP hosted a separate Collegiate National Championship with close to 100 shooters from 24 squads.
With the largest contingency of shooters, Trap had almost 1900 participants, a 19% increase. A total of 736 shooters shot Skeet for a 29% growth, and the 677 Sporting Clays shooters represented a 30% increase.
Of the 2180 SCTP shooters, 1818 were male and 361 female.
“An event of this magnitude could only take place so successfully with a great deal of hard work and dedication from our student athletes, coaches, parents, team volunteers, and our own staff,” said Ben Berka, President and Executive Director of the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF), which powers SCTP and SPP. “We are especially grateful to our many sponsors and benefactors who make it possible for us to create an unforgettable experience for our athletes. We also owe kudos to the World Shooting and Recreational Complex, a remarkable venue that hosted our thousands of shooters and spectators with ease. We look forward to hosting our 2015 National Championships there.”