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Scholastic Shooting Sports Nationals

Activities and Exhibits

In the next few days, 10,000 to 15,000 visitors are expected daily at the World Shooting Complex in Sparta, Illinois. The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation is expecting a record turnout for its Nation Team Championships, which began on Sunday, July 13th. More than 2,200 shooting athletes were registered as of July 10th. The week's events include both the Scholastic Clay Target Program Nationals and the Scholastic Pistol Program Nationals.

The events are expected to draw at least 170 teams from 26 states.

Art Ashbrook, executive director of the complex said 10,000 to 15,000 people per day is no pipe dream.  Each young shooter brings a parent or two, one or both sets of grandparents and a sibling or two and then there are sponsors, coaches and their families as well. “It's getting to be an event that competes with the Grand American Trap Shoot World Championship in daily attendance.”

Stu Wright, coach of the Pinckneyville, Illinois team said, “I get kind of emotional around this time of year.  You've got as many as 3000 students here preparing to compete and as many as 15,000 people here to support them. It's done seriously but with very good sportsmanship. It's really something that people should see.”

“This is really a family event.” Ashbrook said of the friendly atmosphere at the Nationals. “Sportsmanship is absolutely one of the things the SCTP folks stress and by this point, the parents and the coaches have done just about all they can for the kids. This event is all about the kids competing and having fun, and these kids do a fantastic job.”

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