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 Breaking Headlines

Shotgun Sports Attracting More Teenage Girls

NOVEMBER 29, 2005 -- The number of teenage girls participating in shotgun sports is up dramatically over the past five years, surveys show. And there's every indication that parents are pleased with their daughters' new pastime.

Across the sports of trap, skeet and sporting clays, the number of female participants age 12-17 rose 56% - from 133,000 to 208,000 - between '99 and '04, according to a National Sporting Goods Association report.

The upward trend also has been seen in the National Shooting Sports Foundation's Scholastic Clay Target Program, which in '05 alone saw an 84% increase in participation by girls from elementary- through high-school age.

"Nationwide, over a third of all female participants in shotgun sports today are under 24. There's a growing youth movement in shooting, and it's a credit to the many programs that are opening doors and creating opportunities for women of all ages to enjoy outdoor lifestyles," said Cyndi Dalena, NSSF director of shooting sports development.

In a '05 SCTP survey, 94% of parents said the competitive shooting program is a positive influence in their child’s development. Overwhelmingly, parents observed improved responsibility, teamwork, sportsmanship and leadership skills. In fact, 98% of SCTP parents believe shooting is just as important as other sports, and 94% would support shotgun sports as a school-based athletic program.

"Part of the attraction and uniqueness of trap, skeet and sporting clays is that girls can compete with boys. Shooting is not all about strength or speed. It's also about coordination and concentration, and more and more girls are discovering that those skills are great equalizers," said Dalena.

Overall, there were 1,309,000 total female participants of all ages in shotgun sports in '04, up 11% from 1,177,000 in '97. Growth also is being documented in hunting. Between '97 and '04, 2,426,000 women of all ages hunted, up more than 20% compared to 2,018,000 in '98.

SCTP, now in its fifth year, provides school-age girls and boys nationwide with the chance to compete as a team for state and national championships in trap, skeet and sporting clays. Other youth development programs like 4-H Shooting Sports and the Boy Scouts of America's Venturing Program are also opportunities for youths to get involved in shooting sports.

The Becoming an Outdoors Woman program and the National Wild Turkey Federation's Women in the Outdoors program focus specifically on introducing women to activities like shooting and hunting. NWTF, the National Rifle Association, Second Amendment Foundation and other organizations also publish outdoor or shooting magazines especially for women.

Other programs like NSSF's STEP OUTSIDE program introduce newcomers, including many girls and women, to shooting as well as hunting, fishing and archery.


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Categories
Sporting goods industry
Foundations
Recreation

Companies
SCTP
National Sporting Goods Association
Nationwide
Boy Scouts of America
National Rifle Association

Concepts
sporting clays
female participants
shooting sports
shotgun sports
Teenage Girls

People
Cyndi Dalena





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