The Georgia 4-H State BB Match occurred on May 5, and 531 4th-8th graders from across the state flocked to Rock Eagle in Eatonton to compete in the match. Three chances to go to the Daisy National BB Gun Championship Match in Rogers, Ark. were on the line for the 77 teams that attended.
The Pierce County Red Team, an all-girl team, won the May 5 match and are currently making plans to attend the national championship. As well as winning top team that day, the team also recorded the highest overall team score since a record-keeping system was put in place in 1998. Sixth grader Skylar Morrison placed as top shooter for the competition, and she is a part of the Pierce County Red Team.
The 4-H State BB Match is part of the 4-H Project S.A.F.E. (Shooting Awareness Fun and Education) program. The S.A.F.E program includes opportunities in BB, air pistol, air rifle, .22 rifle, archery and shotgun. Youth can participate in more than one of the Project S.A.F.E. programs.
One of the advantages of participating in the Georgia 4-H BB program is that parents are heavily involved. They act as coach for their child. They learn everything the child does, and they have to be actively involved in order for the child to participate in the program.
Pierce County coach David Turner told GON that he is still stoked from all of their accomplishments during the Georgia 4-H State BB Match. His three different teams, which are named the Red, White and Blue teams after the U.S. flag, all placed in the top 25 out of the 77 teams. David is in his seventh successful year of coaching the BB team for Pierce County. He also coaches the county’s air rifle team and stresses the importance of hard work to be successful.
“You are going to get out of it what you put into it,” said David.
David said Skylar is a good example of this principle. She comes into practice ready to go, and then she goes home and practices some more.
“Truly an example of what work ethic will do for a person,” said David.
David is proud of his team as a whole with all of their accomplishments from this year. However, the 4-H state match didn’t end the season for the Pierce County team. David said that there were more competitions for them to attend in the coming months, along with the national shoot.
The Project S.A.F.E program can open so many doors. Chris Sagar, a state 4-H rifle instructor and a volunteer with the Forsyth County BB team, said there are additional opportunities for youth outside the BB program.
“We have several counties in Georgia that regularly have their youth participate in Junior Olympic try-outs at the Olympic training center in Colorado,” said Chris.
Not only do the youth have the potential
to try out for the Junior Olympics, but Chris said there are possibilities present for college scholarships, military service and career opportunities dealing with the shooting/target sport industries.
Another key factor about Project S.A.F.E. is that any youth who wants to participate will have the opportunity.
“It’s important that young people participate in social activities regardless of who they are, what they look like and what they can do,” said Chris.
Chris mentioned that if a person has a disability, they will find a way to accommodate it.
“One that is very dear to me was a young lady I had with vision issues,” said Chris. “We set up a laser pointer on her rifle so she could see where she was aiming. She shot on my team for five years. Everyone she met was so supportive of her, especially the kids. She participated in just about every 4-H program the county had. She graduated high school, went to college in South Carolina and is writing plays.”
4-H has so much to offer youth. It is not just shooting programs. There is truly something for everyone. For more on the 4-H Project S.A.F.E. program or to learn how to get involved in 4-H, call your county extension office, or go to www.georgia4h.org/safe.
Georgia 4-H Project S.A.F.E.
GA 4-H’s primary goal is positive youth development. We accomplish this through numerous learning opportunities led by University of Georgia Cooperative Extension professionals or trained volunteers.
GA 4-H Project SAFE is an extremely popular 4-H program that teaches valuable life skills through participation in team target sports.
Safety is our highest priority. Volunteers who work with youth in Project SAFE must become certified coaches. Certification involves passing background screening and attending a weekend training. The training covers the mission of GA 4-H, youth development, safety, risk management, specialized training in the sport and overall program management. Coaches must continue to pass risk management training each year.
Project SAFE provides youth a place where they can develop a sense of belonging, learn teamwork in a safe environment and increase concentration skills.
Project SAFE like all 4-H Clubs provide youth with positive interactions with supportive adults which is so important in their development.
Project SAFE 4-H Clubs take place in over 110 Georgia counties.