August 2020 Leadership Letter

Dear USA Shooting athletes, members, parents, and volunteers, 

It is great to be writing my very first Leadership Letter for the  Membership Newsletter. Thank you for your continued support of USA Shooting as we seek to grow the American shooting community and emerge from the COVID induced hiatus.   

Members like you allow us to achieve our goals and strive for a brighter future. This month’s member profile is an interview with Tita Ford. Tita is a long-time member who volunteers her time to help load for our Paralympic athletes including 2016 Bronze Paralympic Medalist McKenna (Dahl) GeerTita and her husbandBill Ford, have both been volunteering for over four years, and we cannot thank them enough for their dedication to help our Paralympic athletes train and achieve their dreams.   

The cancellation of the Junior Olympics and Nationals have been heartbreaking to our shooters, supporters, coaches and staff.  I want you to understand that we looked at every possible option before settling on those decisions.  We are currently exploring alternative venues and match formats for 2021 ensure that we will see our shooters back on the firing line in these matches next year.  I want to publicly acknowledge our partners at Hillsdale College, the CMP, the USAMU, and Ft. Carson’s command group for their support in these efforts.  In addition to those matches we are planning some exciting new training opportunities for our juniors beginning next summer, so stay tuned for announcements coming later this fall.    

The Smallbore Rifle and Paralympic Team members are yet to be selected. The staff is working on a match program that will provide every eligible shooter a chance to make the team while observing the necessary precautions to keep our athletes safe.  The rest of the team is picked and has returned to training over the past couple of months.  Training is back online at the USAMU, the US Olympic and Paralympic Training Center, and other ranges across the country.  We recently conducted a shotgun training camp at Hillsdale College on their spectacular new shooting complex with most of our Olympic Team on hand.  At the USOPTC we’ve gotten a majority of or resident athletes back into the range and training under strict protocols to ensure their health and safety.  I’ve seen some tremendous scores shot in just the first few weeks of traininglike a 393 standing from Anna Weilbacher, and we are putting the additional lead time before Tokyo to good use.   

Make sure to click on our highlighted membership benefit,  ExpertVoice, which provides discounts to various clothing, gear, and accessories. Your ExpertVoice access is free with your USA Shooting membership and savings on a single purchase can more than pay for your annual USAS membership.  Pro-Tip:  the discounts on Smith Optics are great, and the most popular brand among our members on ExpertVoice is one of our recent sponsors, Burris. Read more about our sponsor, TALO Distributors, and consider purchasing one of the 2020 commemorative 1911 Colt .45 guns to support our Olympic and Paralympic Teams and help #RaisetheFlag 

Please continue to let us know if you would like to nominate a fellow USA Shooting member for our monthly member profile. We have a great community with many inspiring stories, so help us get their storieout there.  

Matt Suggs 
Chief Executive Officer