As a sponsor of the League for many years, it’s been a delight to see the League’s vision come to fruition through the amazing growth of youth shooting sports that started in Minnesota and now extends across the country.
Not only is that growth key to the long-term survival of clay target shooting sports—even shooting sports in general—but that growth has been a godsend to the shot- gun industry that has never really focused on specialized products for the youth shotgun sports.
It’s easy to understand just how important the League is to the fire- arm and shooting sport industry as a whole. This school year the League will have over 32,000 participants. That number alone represents tens of millions of dollars of industry spending on shotguns, shooting vests, safety equipment, and tens of millions of rounds of ammunition.
As an industry leader in the production of specialized target shotguns, our focus continues to be the production of affordable shotguns with adjustable gun stocks. These shotguns are designed to fit the ever-changing physique of the student athletes as they grow, giving them the best opportunity to be successful in shotgun sports.
As I’ve traveled to League events and spoken with athletes, families, and coaches from across the country, the impact of the League has clearly been felt. Older shooting ranges have been reopened and are now flourishing. As local schools form new teams, small sporting goods retailers now have new cus- tomers that purchase products to allow them to take part in League events. The secret to the success of the youth shooting sports industry is providing affordable products designed for the youth that participate in it.
SKB became a proud sponsor of the League shortly after its beginnings in Minnesota. Along with our donations, we’ve taken a proactive approach to attending League events. We assist athletes with gun fittings and provide opportunities for them to try out a fitted shotgun at a practice trap.
That dedication to youth clay target shooting sports has led to the students and parents embracing the SKB brand. Our next generation of customers are loyal to us because we’ve been loyal to them. Those customer relationships are built over time and the League has provided us with the opportunity to build more and more of them each year.
During the time we’ve spent under the SKB vendor tent at League events, I’ve seen the excitement in the eyes of the young men and women who shoot their first 25 straight, then their first 50 straight. This is really exciting and rewarding for the parents, coaches and the SKB team. It’s been an honor to watch them grow and participate in the sport each year, while becoming polite, considerate, and above all safe and responsible individuals. We at SKB look forward to being a part of the League’s 100K Drive to 2025 vision.