August 28th, 2020

Arizona Collegiate Marksmen Teach New Shooters

University Arizona Wildgats NSSF new shooter
Top photo taken before COVID-19 pandemic. Now training is conducted with face masks and social distancing protocols as shown in lower photo.

Arizona SASP Team Introduces New Shooters With First Shots Program
The Wildgats is the University of Arizona’s talented Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP) Team. The Wildgats team got its start in 2015 thanks to an NSSF grant, and now the Wildgats members are training new shooters in conjunction with the NSSF’s First Shots and +ONE initiatives. With August being declared National Shooting Sports Month, the Wildgats conducted a training session on August 22, 2020. The event was hugely successful — drawing a “full house” of 127 trainees.

“We had a 127 sign up in one 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 about 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.”

University Arizona Wildgats NSSF new shooter

The training sessions began with a body temperature check for health compliance. Then there was a First Shots powerpoint session followed by gun safety 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. After this instruction, First Shots participants were taken to the live fire range, receiving one-on-one guidance with a Coach, Instructor, or RSO.

The Wildgats have run First Shots events for several years. With partners Southeast Regional Park Shooting Range and Pima County Parks & Recreation, the WildGats hosted a successful event in August, 2020.

About the Wildgats SASP Team
The WildGats squad is the University of Arizona collegiate shooting team for the Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP). The team’s Facebook page declares: “We are proud to represent the University of Arizona at the collegiate level in rimfire and centerfire pistol, as well as rimfire rifle divisions. We regularly practice steel shooting in timed courses of fire, emphasizing on safety and accuracy for both beginners, intermediate, and advanced athletes. The Wildcats team members are University of Arizona students who are committed to improving their shooting skills through regular training and personal responsibility. With the same dedication we apply to our studies, we work on the fundamentals of marksmanship, seeking new ways to gain more accuracy, speed, and consistency.”

University Arizona Wildgats NSSF new shooter

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