Youth shooting sports were in the limelight Monday, April 8, when some 50 athletes involved in the Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program (TNSCTP) — a program of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation — were honored on the floors of the Tennessee House of Representatives and Senate.

Teams from Fayette Academy in Somerville, Hardin County High School and Middle School, Rossville Christian Academy, and the 4-H programs in Haywood and Henderson counties were recognized in a joint resolution sponsored by Rossville’s Sen. Delores Gresham, who represents Tennessee District 26. Gresham invited a group of athletes and their coaches representing the District 26 TNSCTP teams to stand with her in the galley as she explained the program.

“This [resolution] is especially meaningful for me because I’ve spent some time on the trap field, both international and American,” said Gresham.  “In the spirit of Tennessee’s great marksman — Davy Crockett, Alvin York, and Herb Parsons — we salute these teams.”

Gresham also pointed out that the TNSCTP has become a “national model for youth shotgun sports,” with more than 2,000 athletes on some 100 Tennessee teams participating in 2012.

“The program promotes the life skills of self-discipline, focus, teamwork, and safety in a family atmosphere,” she said. “It also encourages excellence in scholarship and personal responsibility, sportsmanship in competition, and the development of a passion for Tennessee’s great outdoors.”

A program of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation in cooperation with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the TNSCTP provides youth ages 5-12 an opportunity to compete in shotgun shooting sports with peers from across the state. It is the No. 1-ranked competitive youth shooting program in the U.S. and has recorded the highest level of participation over the past 10 years among the 44 states with Scholastic Clay Target programs.

Image courtesy Tennessee Wildlife Federation

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