In Her Element

When clay target coaches begin with a new athlete, they often begin with fundamentals of eye dominance. During the first day of St. Mary’s Trap Team practice for Emily Ferguson, she promptly told her coach she was left-eye dominant. When questioned her confidence in that answer before the drill had even begun, she playfully replied, “I only have one eye, trust me on this one.”

Fast forward to present day, Emily Ferguson’s many accomplishments include High Overall Grand Champion of the SCTP Tennessee Trap State Championship, shooting a 199/200 at Nationals 2019, and winning the Rudy Cup, an award only given to the top shooter from Tennessee at Nationals, becoming the first female in history to claim the title. These incredible accomplishments demonstrate the truly level playing field that shooting sports offers young athletes.

As a young adult trying to make sense of her interests and future career choices, she is turning to her own incredibly difficult, yet inspiring experiences. Emily has triumphantly beat cancer three times. Retinoblastoma at just eighteen-months old required removing the right eye to help prevent chance of metastasis. Later at the age of eleven, Ewing sarcoma occurred in Emily’s ribs and part of her lung, with a recurrence requiring treatment five years later. Emily is thankfully in remission and after spending an immeasurable amount of time at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, she has found inspiration in prosthetic design. “Traditional prosthetic limbs are not typically aesthetically pleasing. I found resources online that inspired me to look into unique prosthetic design. I think what I want to do is create unique designs where people want to show them off rather than wearing long sleeves and pants year-round.”

Known on the St. Mary’s Trap Team as “Ace” and team captain, Emily Ferguson embraces her role as a leader for the sport and the SCTP. “I am an introvert by nature, but with my team out on the field, I’m in my element. This is definitely what I love to do and I’m even a certified coach now. It doesn’t feel like work to me and coaching is really something I hope I can continue to do in the future.”

A YOUNGER EMILY FERGUSON COULDN’T HAVE KNOWN THAT STUMBLING UPON SHOOTING SPORTS WOULD BE CHANGING THE TRAJECTORY OF HER LIFE IN SUCH A MEANINGFUL WAY.

Derby Day, as it’s called at St. Mary’s in Memphis, Tennessee, is typical of activity fairs seen throughout the country. At a booth promoting clay target sports is where this soon-to-be champion began her path to development as an athlete and young adult.

“I came out of an all-girls middle school, as a shy, awkward thing. I couldn’t hold a conversation to save my life and wouldn’t look people in the eye. My dad hunts a lot and I saw shooting sports as something to do with dad. My dad has been my one and only financial sponsor in this game since day one. I joined the trap team and in my first year after the SCTP Tennessee State Championship, the team promoted me to varsity. Now I am the Team Captain. I feel a lot more confident in myself. Getting involved in shooting sports and the SCTP, more specifically, has definitely changed my life for the better.”

Away from the line, Emily can be seen laughing and having a good time with the St, Mary’s Trap Team, but in the moments before a shoot, she peels away to compose her mental focus. Those who observe the all-ladies trap team in a competition notice Emily’s leadership and the young athletes shooting together like a well-oiled machine. Quiet fist bumps are exchanged between each station and it’s back to laser-focused performance. Now having graduated from high school, Emily’s time on the St. Mary’s Trap Team has come to an end but she will always be known as “Ace”.

When asked what is next for the champion from Tennessee, she laughed and replied, “I’ll be taking a gap year, but when I go to college something that’s non-negotiable for me is finding college with a shooting team. I want to switch gears to bunker trap. It’s really exciting that bunker is getting more popular. The rest of the world shoots bunker, but no one else in the world shoots American trap!”

For those interested in trying out shooting sports, Emily has very simple advice. “Just try it out. Most people at gun clubs are so helpful and encouraging. You may not even have to buy a gun on the spot. Everyone I’ve met in this sport is so incredibly supportive. Although you do compete against each other, we want each other to be the best out there. I never thought that this would turn into such a big thing for me and here I am doing an interview at the National Championship with the SCTP.”

Over $600K To Benefit Youth Shooting Sports Teams Through Reload For 2021 Campaign

The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation‘s (SSSF) Reload For 2021 campaign raised $311,657, thanks to participating teams and donors! To date, this is the SSSF's most successful fundraising campaign, with funds benefiting teams totaling over $600,000! The Reload For 2021 campaign provides immediate funds teams can use for the 2021 shooting season AND provides funds to their MidwayUSA Foundation team endowment account to benefit teams FOREVER.

Total impact for the campaign amounts to just over $155,000 in cash grants going to SCTP and SASP teams, and over $366,000 being donated by SSSF to the participating team’s MidwayUSA Foundation endowment accounts! Funds that are MidwayUSA Foundation Match Eligible totaled over $78,000.

Congratulations to the teams that worked hard to compete in our team endowment bonus fund competitions of most dollars raised and most unique donors. The SSSF awarded an additional $60,000 pool of funding to teams claiming those accolades in places 1st through 6th, with those funds being allocated to team endowment accounts held at the MidwayUSA Foundation.

Final team standings for each competition:

Reload For 2021- $100K For December

We are excited to announce additional match funding for SSSF's Reload For 2021 campaign! All donations received in the month of December will receive extra match funding from SSSF!

SSSF will provide a pool of $100,000 in match funding for the entire month of December. The ratio of that match will vary based on the number of total contribution dollars received in December for the campaign. For example, if SSSF receives $100,000 in donations in December, all donations will be matched 1:1.If SSSF receives $50,000 in donations for the month of December, all donations will be matched 2:1, etc.

This special SSSF December match will be directed to your team endowment account at the MidwayUSA Foundation. Also, keep in mind that 25% of each donation your team receives will be sent to the MidwayUSA Foundation where it will be matched under the current MidwayUSA Foundation matching program. See our official campaign page for details.  

Use Amazon Smile For A Simple Donation To Youth Shooting Sports

Did you know that nearly $2,000 has been donated to the SSSF through AmazonSmile? When online shopping on Amazon, please consider using selecting the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation as your charity of choice!

Our supporters have selected the SSSF as their Amazon Smile Charity and continued online shopping as they normally do, with most purchases qualifying for a portion to be donated. Thank you to our community and even some of our sponsors, like America's Gunsmith Shop for selecting the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation as their AmazonSmile charity!

Here's how to shop AmazonSmile:

Simply shop at smile.amazon.com/ch/20-8484121

OR

1. Visit smile.amazon.com

2. Sign in with your Amazon.com credentials

3. Search for and select the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation Inc as your charity of choice4. Start shopping!

5. Add a bookmark for smile.amazon.com to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile

SSSF Donates Over $450,000 To Youth Shooting Sports Teams

The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) recently donated $451,258.50 to Team Endowment Accounts at the MidwayUSA Foundation, providing assistance for youth shooting sports expenses. Teams earned funds by raising money through the SSSF’s Reload For 2021 campaign and the SSSF Member Matching Program. Teams purchasing ATA and or NSSA/NSCA memberships through the SCTP also had deposits made to their accounts.

So far, this year's donations have benefited 339 teams participating in the Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP) and Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP), participating throughout 37 different states. The growth of youth shooting sports is apparent, as the number of benefiting teams has increased nearly four-fold since 2018. To date, the SSSF has donated over $6.9 million to SCTP and SASP team endowment accounts at the MidwayUSA Foundation.

SSSF MidwayUSA Foundation Endowment Account Donation Summary

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Please contact the SSSF for more information on how your shooting team can earn team endowment funding for their account at the MidwayUSA Foundation.

The Team Endowment Program at the MidwayUSA Foundation gives a community the ability to financially support a competitive youth shooting sports program or financially assist in the start-up of a new youth shooting sports program. The team can then request a grant of up to 5% of their endowment account balance once each year, in either December or June, to pay for team expenses. For more information about how the MidwayUSA Foundation is changing the future of youth shooting sports, please visit midwayusafoundation.org or call 1-877-375-4570.

SSSF Fruit Fundraiser

Hello SCTP & SASP Coaches and Teams!

The National office in conjunction with Florida Indian River Groves have put together the ultimate fundraising opportunity for you and your teams! Who doesn’t want fresh fruit especially when they can help your team raise much needed funds for this upcoming season?!

This opportunity is a no contact, no face to face, no door knocking way to help and support your team by just emailing friends, family and neighbors! 10% of all sales will come back directly to your team in the form of a check after the December 1st deadline for Christmas delivery.

The SCTP and SASP will furnish a list of prizes and places very shortly, so take the time now to register your team at the link below and we will handle the rest! Once your team is registered, it will take approximately 48-72 hours and you will be on your way to forwarding the link and website for supporters to place orders and help your team with funding!

Coaches, once you have registered your team, you will be able to set up your athletes and track their progress and total sales volume related to each athlete (salesperson)…..you can put up individual prizes and contests for your athletes as well!

We would like to thank Florida Indian River Groves for their support and help in providing this awesome

Opportunity to our teams, athletes and families!

Best of luck,

Your SCTP and SASP National Directors

TO RESERVE A SPOT IN OUR FUNDRAISING PROGRAM, TEAMS WILL REGISTER AT THIS FORM:

To view a sample website, which shows available varieties, selling prices, etc., coaches may use this link:

(Note: This is NOT to be distributed by your membership or used for ordering. Each team will receive their very own, fully customized website, with a different link for online ordering.)

Sample Link: https://www.floridaindianrivergroves.com/ecommerce/1020824

Order Deadlines Are As Follows:

For Guaranteed Delivery Prior To:Orders Must Be Placed Online By:
Thanksgiving (November 26, 2020)Friday, October 30, 2020
Christmas (December 25, 2020)Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Reload For 2021 Campaign

In 2016 the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation launched a campaign entitled, “VISION 20/20” with the goal to grow national youth participation in the Scholastic Clay Target Program and Scholastic Action Shooting Program to over 20,000 student-athletes annually by the year 2020.

WITH THAT GOAL EASILY BEING MET AND SURPASSED, WE ARE RELAUNCHING THIS FUNDRAISING OPPORTUNITY AS RELOAD FOR 2021!

GETTING YOUR TEAM INVOLVED IS SIMPLE AND INVOLVES THE FOLLOWING STEPS:
  1. Complete and return the Reload For 2021 Agreement and W-9.
  2. Open your team endowment account at the MidwayUSA Foundation if you have not done so already.
  3. Raise funds however your team deems most effective. This could include sending in funds from current or previous local fundraising efforts, soliciting donations with an email invitation via your team network of coaches and parents, asking local donors and/or advertising on social media.
  4. Submit donations to SSSF either securely online or via the print-and-mail form prior to January 1, 2021. Be sure to include your SSSF team ID on ALL donations so the donations can be allocated correctly. SSSF will provide you with periodic updates about donations received for your team.

Bonus Funding Opportunity
All teams participating in the Reload For 2021 campaign will have the opportunity to win BONUS team endowment funds! There are two competitions taking place:

  1. Teams with the most dollars raised.
  2. Teams with the most unique donors making donations via the SSSF website or print and mail form. Minimum donation is $20 to be counted as a unique donor.

For each competition, teams will be awarded team endowment funding to their MidwayUSA Foundation team endowment account as follows:

  1. $10,000
  2. $8,000
  3. $5,000
  4. $3,000
  5. $2,500
  6. $1,500

DONORS MAY BE SENT TO THE RELOAD FOR 2021 PAGE ON THE SSSF WEBSITE FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT THEIR TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION TO YOUR SCTP OR SASP TEAM AND PERKS FOR THEIR SUPPORT: HTTPS://SSSFONLINE.ORG/RF2021/

SSSF Seeks Information Technology Support Manager

The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) is seeking a highly motivated individual to assume the role of Information Technology Support Manager.  The successful candidate will have a broad background in IT support and be responsible for all aspects of information technology support for SSSF and its members.

The successful candidate will be responsible for all aspects of information technology (IT) support for the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation, Scholastic Clay Target Program and Scholastic Action Shooting Program. The successful candidate will play the lead role in supporting the organizations’ information technology needs.

Primary Responsibilities Include:

  • Management of the helpdesk system to support and provide excellent customer service to SSSF program members
  • Working with diverse groups including SSSF/SCTP/SASP management, customers, partners, contractors and other stakeholders to provide support and enhancement of SSSF IT systems
  • Managing all aspects of SSSF internal IT and IT assets
  • Coordinating IT system training for staff members and customers in a remote environment
  • Creating and delivering support documentation, end-user tutorials, videos, etc.
  • Creating and delivering comprehensive testing and implementation plans for new software and/or enhancements
  • Ordering IT hardware, maintaining IT software subscriptions and related support for SSSF staff
  • Planning and executing both internal and end-user training Interacting with management, staff, membership, contractors and others to execute job duties
  • Constantly monitoring and evaluating technology trends and developments
  • Some on-call and weekend work will be required

Download complete position description and how to apply here…

SASP Team Introduces New Shooters With First Shots Program

The NSSF's First Shots and +ONE initiatives have aimed to introduce new groups and individuals alike to shooting sports. With August being declared National Shooting Sports Month, these resources have been utilized by the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation's SASP and SCTP members as a means to grow their teams for the upcoming season.

The SASP team, WildGats at the University of Arizona got their start in 2015 thanks to an NSSF grant and have been an enthusiastic partner for NSSF initiatives ever since.

This youth shooting sports team has been focused on sharing their sport via First Shots events for several years and just put on their latest introductory event on August 22nd. Along with event partners Southeast Regional Park Shooting Range and Pima County Parks and Recreation, the WildGats put on a wildly successful event.

"We had a 127 sign up in the first hour before we could announce that it was full," said WildGats Head Coach, Bill Perkins. "Talking to our guests, I was surprised. At our first five events, we have had ~50% new shooters.  When I asked for a show of hands at our latest First Shots event, ALL the hands went up in all three groups. We also saw very high participation by women.  I would guess over 80% this year."

Event staff greeted participants, with each group signing in and going through a quick temperature check. From there, new shooters were oriented by a First Shots powerpoint, staff introductions, gun safety rules, and future shooting opportunities.

First Shots participants being introduced to gun safety and county range rules

From there, the University of Arizona WildGats athletes taught new shooters the fundamentals of grip, stance, sight alignment, and trigger squeeze with visible laser SIRT trainers. NextLevel Training, Platinum Sponsor of the Scholastic Action Shooting Program, manufactures training tools, especially helpful for new shooters.

Introducing the fundamentals of pistol shooting with training tools gave new shooters the skills and confidence to progress before hitting the range

Once given an introduction, First Shots participants were taken to the live fire range, receiving 1:1 guidance with a Coach, Instructor or RSO.

© Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to providing shooting-sports education and opportunities to school-age youths around the United States to encourage young athlete personal growth and development.
Tax-ID number 20-8484121.