YSSA Pinpoints Youth Programs For Future Growth.
Hardly a week goes by without a company within the shooting sports industry receiving another request from a youth program leader for a donation of either money or products to support their group. Should the company provide support?
We all recognize the importance of introducing youth to the pleasures and responsibilities of the shooting sports, but finding the right programs to endorse can be a difficult and time-consuming process. Where can a company go to receive guidance in selecting which youth programs to support to ensure their donations will have the greatest impact on recruiting and retaining youth in the shooting sports?
As a service to the industry, the Youth Shooting Sports Alliance (YSSA) identifies youth shooting sports programs with the greatest return on investment and prioritizes them based on criteria such as program quality, potential for growth and participation levels.
Each year, YSSA conducts a National Assessment of Youth Shooting Sports Program Needs to identify limitations to program growth because of the lack of shooting sports equipment and supplies. Invitations to participate in the assessment are sent to National 4-H Shooting Sports state coordinators, Boy Scout Councils and a host of other independent youth programs. The YSSA reviews proposals and identifies the priority programs that best contribute to the future market goals of the industry.
Scouting teaches youth the safe, responsible use of firearms,
airguns and BB guns in carefully managed and supervised programs.
Archery, Rifle and Shotgun Shooting merit badges have all grown
in popularity over the last decade.
YSSA recognizes the National 4-H Shooting Sports Program
as a leading organization in introducing youth to the
shooting sports. Each year, 4-H teaches a shooting sport
to over 300,000 kids.
By working with some of the most respected manufacturers in the industry, YSSA has established a sound foundation in providing product support for priority youth shooting sports programs nationwide. In 2014, the YSSA played a significant role in assisting programs to introduce 72,000 youth to the shooting sports.
The YSSA Shooting Sports Equipment Loan Program continues to be a popular resource of firearms, archery equipment and BB guns available for use by youth shooting sports programs. This program is a “loan” program, not a “rental” program. The cost of shipping loaned firearms, BB guns and archery equipment to groups is paid by YSSA. The user youth programs are responsible for the cost of returning the loaned equipment.
The inventory of firearms available for loan currently includes over 600 rifles, shotguns and pistols, hundreds of Daisy BB guns and a large amount of archery equipment. The majority of this equipment was either donated or offered for purchase to the YSSA at significant price concessions.
The YSSA Donated Sporting Goods Program provides an opportunity for manufacturers, distributors and sportsmen and women to donate their old guns and other sporting goods to help YSSA build the next generation of shooters. Donations are, in turn, sold on GunBroker.com.
At the close of 2014, these auctions generated over $500,000, which was used to purchase equipment and supplies to support youth shooting sports programs nationwide.
The YSSA welcomes partnerships with companies and individuals who share their passion for recruiting and retaining kids in the shooting sports. For more information, contact Steve Miller, YSSA executive director at (240) 347-4351 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Steve Miller