If you need an extra dose, check out the upcoming, first-ever, NRA Freedom Weekend. The beginning of this new concept starts with the crowning of the undisputed World Shooting Champion.
TV’s popular Top Shot program was a good first step, but the victor of those competitions represented relatively small groups of shooters that were hand-picked under a broader set of qualification criteria. The NRA World Shooting Championship event aims to bring the world’s top competitive shooters together for three days of intense competition to find out who is the best of the best. The event covers all major shooting disciplines – 12 to be exact. Oh, and did I mention that they can also compete in the first Starlight 3-Gun event too once the sun goes down? More on that in a minute.
The World Shooting Championship, presented by Magpul, takes place September 24-26, 2015 at the Peacemaker National Training Center in Gerrardstown, West Virginia. There’s plenty of incentive with $250,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs. That cool quarter million is just for the daytime competition. Add another for the Starlight event, so $500,000 in total is on the table. You can be sure all the top dogs will be in attendance.
To keep the focus on shooter skills instead of tricked out gear, all guns and ammunition are provided by the event sponsors. In addition to leveling the playing field, this format also encourages easy participation by international competitors.
Looking to make shooting competitions as mainstream as other sporting events, the NRA and event sponsors are going the extra mile to make both the day and night competitions spectator friendly. The 2015 NRA Freedom Weekend represents the first deliberate effort to grow the spectator aspect of the shooting sports.
“NRA Freedom Weekend will have a friendly atmosphere as shooters, VIPs and spectators will be treated to a level of entertainment unheard of at any other shooting competition. There will be an area with food and drinks, games and music. Spectators can keep up with the competition via live scoring and video feeds. The Peacemaker National Training Center outside Glengarry, West Virginia will keep its high-level shooting focus, but add a new dimension of consumer friendliness as shooters, VIPS and spectators will be treated to a level of entertainment unheard of at any other shooting competition.”
The Starlight 3-Gun event will not only offer plenty of visual “cool factor” but is also designed to be spectator friendly. According to organizer Jim Shepherd, “The Starlight 3 Gun will offer spectator participation areas where adults and children can try their hand at shooting. Children will have a safe-play area where they can burn off some excess energy while their parents check out the competition and exhibits, and all that will be centered around professional concessionaires, restroom facilities, and an entertainment stage.”