Shooting sports creates fun, safe environment
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2012 21:10
The shooting sports club is one of the fastest growing club sports at MSU. At the end of last semester, theteam had 15 members, and it currently has 45 members.
The team was started in 2010 by five members and coaches Jim Porter and Don Fields. MSU offers shooting sports as an intramural sport and those who participated got together and decided to start a club team. From there, the team has grown tremendously and turned into a popular club sport.
On Oct. 10, the Mississippi State University shooting sports club received a grant for $20,000 from the National Wildlife Turkey Federation. This money will be used to help grow the program, buy supplies needed and assist with traveling funds.
The MSU shooting sports club meets every Wednesday at the Starkville Gun Club from 3:30-8 p.m. There is a $25 yearly fee to join the team. Starkville Gun Club provides guns for use, so owning a gun is not necessary.
Senior team president Skyes Heard said he would encourage students on campus to try the sport.
“We provide an environment for students to come shoot and enjoy the sport of shooting,” Heard said. “Anybody can come out and try it, and if they like it, they can join.”
Porter said the draw of the sport is because it is like a virtual video game.
“Not everyone is 6’5 and runs a 4.3 40 (yard dash),” Porter said. “This is something anyone can do. You get to see the target fly, you pull the trigger and you get to see the target break. Nobody comes and says, ‘I don’t want to do it again.’”
Senior secretary Aynne Swindell, who was the first female to officially join the team, said shooting sports are very appealing.
“I came out with one of my friends who was on the team, I tried it and I’ve been hooked ever since,” Swindell said. “It’s a relaxed and fun environment, and there’s no pressure. It doesn’t matter if you’re good or bad, it is just about having fun.”
Porter said the sport is extremely safe.
“We are the safest sport in the nation. In 122 years, there has never been a shooting fatality at an event,” he said. “When you go to a football game, you see trainers on both sides, and there is even an ambulance standing by sometimes in case someone gets hurt. We don’t have any of that out here because we don’t need it.”
For those worried about not being able to pick shooting sports up, Swindell said learning to shoot is not very hard.
“It really is a lot harder than it seems,” she said. “But we have great coaches, so the learning curve is not that challenging. “
The team offers three primary shotgun events, which are skeet, trap and five stand.
Last May, the team sent a five-person squad to the Mississippi State Trap Shoot.
The team composed of Swindell, Austin Davis, Tyler Dixon, Dustin Caruso and Rome Johnson won the state championship in the collegiate division.
Those interested in learning more about the shooting sports team or finding directions to the Starkville Gun Club can contact Heard at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mike Brown at email@example.com more details or for directions to the Starkville Gun Club.