It's mission: To promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports.
NSSF Offers Colleges $300,000 in Grants
NEWTOWN, Conn. -- In just two years, the Collegiate Shooting Sports Initiative (CSSI) developed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation has awarded more than $300,000 to 40 colleges to help establish, expand and sustain shooting clubs and teams. NSSF wants to add to that support. This school year NSSF will make a total of $300,000 in funding available to colleges. Grant applications are available at www.nssf.org/CSSI/grants.
"We're seeing that college students are eager to participate in the shooting sports if given the opportunity," said Zach Snow, NSSF manager of shooting promotions. "NSSF grants are stimulating interest in collegiate target shooting and firearms safety programs across the country."
Schools that have received CSSI grants include Harvard, Yale, Clemson, Colorado State, University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, Fort Hayes State, Stetson College, Jacksonville University and the University of Vermont.
CSSI grant-supported programs have helped double participation at the ACUI Intercollegiate Clay Target Championship over the last three years. The 2011 championships featured 439 students representing 50 schools.
These are avid competitive target shooters. The majority of participants shoot three or more events, with 88 percent taking aim in trapshooting, the tournament's top event. Participation in sporting clays, another shotgun clay target sport, rose by 42 percent over last year. Snow reports that the ACUI office receives an average of ten inquiries per month from parents, students and coaches asking how to start a college team and get involved with the ACUI tournament.
While competition attracts one type of student, recreational target shooting draws students who want an introduction to the shooting sports and firearms safety. NSSF grants are helping to establish these campus-organized clubs. Such widespread interest prompted NSSF to develop its "How to Start a Club" resource guide. The document is filled with helpful advice on starting both competitive teams and recreational shooting clubs, and includes samples of membership forms and club bylaws.
NSSF's Collegiate Shooting Sports Initiative is closely allied with the Scholastic Clay Target Program that was founded by NSSF and is now administered by the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation. SCTP is a nationwide program for youth target shooters that provides competition, championships and scholarship opportunities. SCTP, a feeder program for many college shooting teams, recently added a collegiate division.
"Students coming out of SCTP and other youth programs want to continue participating when they get to college and also share these lifelong sports with their new friends," said Snow.
Anyone interested in starting or strengthening a college shotgun, rifle or pistol team or club can find resources and grant opportunities at www.nssf.org/college.
NSSF is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2011. Learn about the Foundation's history at www.nssf.org/50.