CHAMPAIGN, Ill.— Local 4-H youth were recently recognized at the State 4-H Shooting Sports Competition. The Franklin County team took home the top spot at the State 4-H Shotgun Shoot. Members include Camden Kirkpatrick, Zachary Skurat, Derek Sample, and Kolton Inglett. In addition, Franklin County’s Derek Sample placed eighth in the individual shotgun competition and Jackson County’s Michelle Wang finished ninth in the State 4-H Archery Shoot.

More than 3,600 4-H members participate in one of the five 4-H shooting sports disciplines. Each fall, the oldest of those members compete in four state contests to determine the state winners and delegates to the National 4-H Shooting Sports Competition to be held in June 2020.

The shooting sports project teaches the responsible and safe handling of firearms. Members must be involved in a club led by a certified volunteer who has completed the National 4-H Shooting Sports training.

“4-H Shooting Sports Clubs are founded on the principles of positive youth development,” said Lisa Diaz, University of Illinois assistant dean and Illinois Extension 4-H director. “We want our members to feel welcomed in our program, to grow in leadership and independence, and be inspired to be generous in service to others as they master the skills of shooting sports.”

Sometimes the real wins have nothing to do with how many bullseyes you hit; it’s what changes inside of you because you tried.

“The project teaches responsibility, patience, and precision which will transfer to other aspects of life,” said Robin Mizell, Extension 4-H program coordinator. Mizell said he sees older members take time during events to mentor and encourage younger members.

“That’s what 4-H is all about.” Mizell said. “Whether it’s shooting sports or public speaking or cooking or showing livestock, inspiring others to work hard to achieve their own personal best is a core 4-H value.”

Top finishers in the contest have the option to advance to national competition, said Curt Sinclair, Extension 4-H shooting sports specialist. The Illinois 4-H Foundation provides financial support for the national teams.

To become involved in the 4-H shooting sports program in your county, one may find the local Extension office at 4-H.illinois.edu.

Illinois 4-H empowers and prepares Illinois youth for success. University of Illinois Extension provides 4-H programs in every county in Illinois, impacting the lives of 200,000 youth each year through sustained learning clubs, groups and short-term programming.

News Writer: Judy Mae Bingman, Media & Communication Manager, 217-300-2113