Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, marksman of all ages...come one, come all and enjoy the world of shooting sports! Not many sports allow male and female participants to compete side-by-side.
The physical variables that give bodies with larger muscles and longer limbs an edge are a matter of physics. Even in this modern day where girls are told not they can “do anything,” there are certain things that certain individuals cannot physically do. A 5′ tall person will not be able to reach something that a 6’3” person can, without artificial help.
But sports are about YOUR abilities, and not about what artifices can create equality. Sports test what YOU can do, both physically and mentally.
A sport that levels physical differences to bring men and women into competition together is shooting. Not all types of shooting, and not all the time – there are always outliers – but shooting, for the most part, involves a set of skills that transcend gender. Shooting sports are a place where men and women can compare their skills with firearms side by side. And disciplines like Bianchi Pistol, long range rifle, highpower, smallbore, air rifle, and similar require relatively little muscular strength as compared to some of the more action-oriented disciplines like 3 gun or USPSA Pistol. This makes them a great pastime for adults who want to spend time with their spouse, children, or grandparents together on the firing line.
For youth, learning that each person we encounter in life can be a peer of ours, depending on what task we’ve undertaken, is a good perspective to consider. The scrappy younger person or gangly girl can be underestimated when it comes to shooting. So, shooting teaches people of all ages not to judge a book by its cover. Regardless of age, confidence that shooting can build in a person is great too.
There is a wonderful gentleman who competes in Bianchi Cup as a Senior, and he’s had two knee replacements and still is competing and really competitive. Once you step away from sports that require sheer power and brute force, you realize there are ways to be active long past and well before what people would consider the “prime” age to be playing sports. Keeping men and women active well into their retirement years is something few sports can boast! Shooting however allows for remarkable displays of wisdom and experience edging out raw power and young eyes; another life lesson that serves us all well, but is especially powerful for young people to witness.
So take your grandpa, your granddaughter, your boyfriend or girlfriend and head to the range to see if you can’t establish a little friendly contest to see who has the best marksmanship skills. Even if it’s just in preparation for hunting season, or maybe you want to start shooting to get someone out of the house and enjoying firearms, a friendly rivalry is possible. Setting challenges that can be met by more than just the big and burly is as simple as naming your target and challenging your friend to make the same shot.