Aim Event – Sparta, IL

Live the Legend |

AIM is the official youth program of the American Trapshooting Association (ATA) and the event kicks off what is a spectacular several weeks of shooting as The Grand American World Trapshooting Championships (known simply as the Grand American to competing shooters). That event takes place Aug. 2-12.

Trapshooting, and the shotgun sports in general, are seeing increased interest from youth shooters who are transforming the sport and bringing a new energy to the field of competition. In fact, youth participation at the AIM championships has seen a steady increase since 2013 when 993 participants took part in the event eclipsing the 2012 participant numbers by nearly 19 percent. 2014 saw a 12.6 percent increase with 1,118 participants, followed by an increase in 2015 of 15.3 percent with 1,320 youth competitors and a 6.3 percent jump last year with 1,404 participants. Including competitors, family members, volunteers and spectators, more than 6,000 people are expected to attend the event, says Lynn Gipson, executive director of the ATA and tournament director for the Grand American.

“The number of youth competitors we see getting involved bodes well for the future of the shooting sports,” Gipson says. “In fact, almost half of our active members are under the age of twenty-three.”

Gipson noted despite the impression many might get from listening to the mainstream media, more states are allowing schools to recognize competitive shotgun shooting as a letter sport

“They can appreciate the values such as discipline, courtesy, responsibility and respect that the shooting sports instills in young athletes,” he says.

Winchester, a company that sees the value in teaching youth the competitive values and responsibility inherent in the shooting sports, has been a long-time sponsor of AIM and the youth trapshooting championships. Besides supplying shells and financial support to shooters, the company will have a booth set up at the event to display products. The Winchester store, which was updated last year, will also be open for business during the entire event, offering shooters a place to rest and get out of the heat, aswell as purchase Winchester products and branded merchandise.

Be sure to visit the store while there and check out all of the cool new items for sale. You can also keep up with Winchester supported events and of the latest Winchester news and promotions through our social media channels on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.


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