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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

VSSA Vice President Tom Ciarula: Adaptive Shooting - Competition for Everyone

NRA's Shooting Sports USA posted this article last week penned by VSSA's Vice President Tom Ciarula on the topic of adaptive shooting and competition.  It's a short but good read.  Tom writes:
Adaptive shooting simply means that we have to adapt the shooting style or equipment for someone with physical limitations or disabilities. If you have a competitive shooting program, and especially if you have a junior program, reach out to the disabled. It doesn’t matter if they are active duty or retired wounded warriors, or just people with physical challenges. With an easy-to-get waiver, potential shooters with physical challenges can compete in NRA matches with other competitors on an equal basis. For a disabled shooter, this might be the first time in their life they can do so; and the shooting sports may be the only avenue in which they can do so.

With the NRA waiver, junior shooters can compete in high school matches, as well as any NRA competition. Additionally, military veterans can go to the Warrior Games, National Veterans’ Wheelchair Games and the Valor Games, with competitions held all over the country. And if they are good enough they can go all the way to USA Shooting in Colorado Springs, CO, as resident athletes and represent the U.S. in the Paralympics and international competition. They can compete on an equal basis with able-bodied shooters. With such a great opportunity, there are disabled shooters at USA Shooting who vie for positions to compete in the Olympic Games on both the regular shooting team and the Paralympic team.
Tom wrote about how his club got started and says if a club is interested in starting such a program, the most important thing is to "simply get started."  He concludes by saying helping disabled or handicapped shooters get started in the shooting sports is a rewarding experience and he is happy to help guide you if your are interested. You can email Tom for more information at at Tom-C@Cox.net.

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