USA Shooting has developed into one of the strongest shooting teams in the world. Wining six Olympic medals at the 2008 Beijing Games is evidence that our plan is working. It is our goal to be equally successful at London in 2012. This is indeed a challenge with only China and the U.S. earning six Olympic medals. Shooting is truly a world-wide sport with over 100 countries participating in the Games and 22 countries winning medals in Beijing. And each year more shooting athletes from more countries produce medal winning scores.
To continue this level of achievement, USA Shooting must build a strong base of financial support to ensure that our athletes can not only compete successfully in the 2012 London Games, but also to build an athlete base and pipeline offering the Olympic Path and opportunity for young shooters to achieve success into the future.
To plan for the future and ensure developing shooters have the opportunity to become medal winning athletes, endowment funds must be raised to create a reliable and predictable cash flow to fund young athletes to ensure that United States teams remain strong in the face of increasing competition from other countries.
We appreciate the opportunity to share this plan with you and solicit your support and suggestions. Please join us in securing a successful future for America's Olympic shooting sports!
The USA Shooting Team is historically one of the top shooting teams in the world. In total, U.S. Shooters have won 103 Olympic medals and out of the top-ten American Olympic Medalists of all time, three are shooters. Further, shooting as a sport ranks third in total Olympic Medals won by the U.S. behind track and field and swimming.
In addition to its mission to prepare athletes to win Olympic medals, USA Shooting is committed to promoting the sport of shooting in the United States. Progress made in these areas will also advance the shooting sports among Americans of all ages.
Looking to the future, USA Shooting faces serious competitive challenges. One of the most significant is the declining athlete pool for which there are several contributing factors:
- Military marksmanship programs have been severely reduced or eliminated in recent years.
- Due to demanding OSHA regulations and continued real estate development, our sport is continually faced with the loss of ranges and shooting programs.
- The increasing legislative restrictions regarding gun ownership and shooting facilities also poses a significant obstacle to the shooting sports.
- Traditionally, the pistol shooting team has been comprised of adult competitors that have family and occupational commitments, which restrict their development as potential medal winners. Identifying and training a younger pool of athletes is essential for long-term success.
On a most positive note, improvements in coaching education, sports psychology and training techniques have reduced the time to develop into a world class athlete. While our overall athlete pool may be smaller, our shooters are progressing more rapidly and earning their places on the awards podium in their early twenties. Our coaches can better identify and develop talent. Resources however, are needed to transition that developing talent into medal winning performances for which we can all take pride.
Grants will not be awarded from the Athlete Endowment until the fund balance exceeds $1,500,000. Through continuing gifts we are one third of the way to our initial objective. In the meantime, the fund is growing by investing with the Olympic Foundation. Over the years, the Olympic Foundation has produced average returns exceeding 8% and with no administrative costs to USA Shooting.
The Athlete Endowment is managed by an Endowment Committee appointed by the USA Shooting President with oversight by the Board of Directors. Specific philosophies have been adopted to ensure the Athlete Endowment continues into the future as only earnings up to 5% annually will be distributed in awards thus maintaining the principal as it continues to grow through donations and earnings.
We look forward to the opportunity to discuss the Athlete Endowment in more detail.