USA Shooting and Hillsdale College have announced a 10-year partnership, in which the private Michigan college will reportedly invest more than $15 million, including for the construction of new shooting facilities. USA Shooting will hold at least three major competitions and some team training camps at Hillsdale College.
“We have a shared vision,” Matt Suggs, USA Shooting’s CEO, told America’s 1st Freedom. “We’re not just here to create world-class athletes. We’re here to foster lifelong and bigger support for the Second Amendment and the Constitution.”
Rich Péwé, Hillsdale’s chief administrative officer, agreed: “The Halter Center is a teaching center. We always try to teach when we have the opportunity. Shooting teaches even young kids discipline and, with safety protocols, that there’s a right way and a wrong way to do something. And people who get introduced to this sport start thinking about conservation, hunting, the constitution, the Second Amendment and getting involved.”
The John Anthony Halter Shooting Sports Education Center (Hillsdale’s shooting facility) currently offers more than 100 acres of shooting ranges, including American trap, sporting clays, smalls arms, skeet and archery, with an associated lodge. The fundraising for four combination Olympic bunker fields and international skeet fields has been completed, and the school hopes to begin fundraising over the next year to build additional rifle and pistol ranges as well so they can host any kind of USA Shooting event.
“When I came back to USA Shooting last year, one thing I saw lacking were the junior-level development camps that were there when the NRA was running it,” said Suggs. “The people who were most successful in the early 90s came from the camps in ’85 or ’86. My vision is that, through this partnership, we can bring pipeline development back to those levels.”
USA Shooting events are scheduled to begin at Hillsdale in May with the Junior Olympic National Rifle Championship.
The Tokyo Olympic Games, which were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, are currently scheduled to begin July 2021. There are 15 medal events in rifle, pistol and shotgun for Olympic shooters.
Hillsdale College is a conservative, nonsectarian Christian school that refuses all government support, including student grants and loans, and “aim[s] to provide students with an education that pursues knowledge of the highest things, provides insight into the nature of God and man, forms character, and defends constitutional government.”
USA Shooting is a privately-funded 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation chartered in 1995 by the U.S. Olympic Committee. It creates and manages shooting programs and sanctions shooting events nationally in support of its mission to further Olympic shooting sports and support athletes.