Chandler brothers’ shooting skills impress Legionnaires SanTan Sun News

Chandler brothers’ shooting skills impress Legionnaires

August 6th, 2018 | by SanTan Sun News
Chandler brothers’ shooting skills impress Legionnaires
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SANTAN SUN NEWS STAFF

Representatives of a local American Legion post are touting the skills of a pair of Chandler brothers as good examples for why its Junior Shooting Sports Program should be picked up by other posts across the state.

Gabe and Logan Towers addressed the Legion’s state convention in late June and demonstrated how the program teaches sportsmanship, teamwork, leadership and discipline.

The brothers “are excellent examples of the type of outstanding youth that participate in the Junior Shooting Sports Program and demonstrated why more Department of Arizona posts need to become involved in supporting this program,” said Bobbie Kimelton, who chairs the program run by the Department of Arizona American Legion.

Gabe and Logan are members of the Chandler American Legion Post 91/35 Junior Shooting Sports Team coached by post Commander Mike Simons and Senior Vice Commander Dennis Masters.

Kimelton said “safety is paramount in this sport and all participants are required to attend a 16-hour safety course where they must achieve 100 percent following testing in order to participate.

The Legion’s three-position air rifle program for children and teens 10-19 years of age and “is one of the few sports where girls perform as well as boys,” Kimelton said.

Many participants go on to compete with other teams across the United States and internationally and are actively recruited by colleges and universities.

The convention this year focused on changes in the Legion’s children and youth programs that will be coming next year.

Gabe and Logan, both members of the three-position sporter air rifle team, have participated in several competitions, including the 2018 Department of Arizona Commander’s Cup and “plan on participating in several competitions during the 2019 season,” Kimelton said.

“As brothers they have developed a certain degree of competition, but more importantly have bonded as teammates,” Kimelton said. “Both boys were able to share their experiences as members of the 91/35 ‘Challengers.’

“They discussed how they have developed as shooters, but, more importantly, how the sport has taught them discipline, communication and leadership skills, Kimelton continued. “Gabe and Logan have honed their shooting skills and clearly articulated how this sport will help them be successful as they get older.”

Gabe and Logan questions at the convention about their team and mastering the Challenger Air Rifle.

“They demonstrated the physical prowess required to become proficient at three-position air rifle and shared stories about the challenges of learning their sport. These boys are a true asset to the program,” Kimelton said.

The post members are “excited about being affiliated with this sport,” Kimelton said, and Simons.

The American Legion Junior Shooting Sports Program is a gun safety education and marksmanship program that encompasses the basic elements of safety, education, enjoyment and competition.

Shooters use the .177 caliber air rifle. Both males and females can participate, through Legion sponsorship and disabled youth are encouraged to join since “competitive shooting is a sport that creates an equal playing field for all competitors,” the Legion says.

The program encompasses a basic marksmanship course, qualification awards and air rifle competition into a well-rounded activity.

The marksmanship course offers comprehensive instruction for beginning shooters with little or no marksmanship experience. Designed for an instructor’s easy use, the course teaches gun safety and marksmanship fundamentals using short lectures or discussions, followed by hands-on activities.

Graduates who want to keep improving their skills can enroll in air-rifle qualification courses provided by the National Rifle Association and the Civilian Marksmanship Programs. These courses offer personal skill-development ladders for shooters to achieve established performance standards.

The annual 3-Position Junior Air Rifle National Championship is a tournament that begins with matches at the post level with winners going on to compete in state and regional competitions.

The national championship is a shoulder-to-shoulder match held each July at the USA Shooting range facilities at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

Information: juniorshooting@legion.org.

Special to SanTan Sun News

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