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hosted in Colorado Springs. Platt made all three junior fi nals while earning a bronze medal on the fi nal day. Abby Votava, a senior at


Palmer High School, is an- other local product having found great success within USA Shooting’s ranks


in


2014 having earned a na- tional Junior Olympic title in April. Kevyn Stinnett, a junior at the Air Force Acad- emy and member of the rifl e team, is also a homegrown product. Getting them there rests


on the shoulders of club leaders Bud Kucera and Jim Shaver, along with Chuck Platt. But, their involvement in the sport doesn’t stop there. All three men have dedicated their lives to the sport and to USA Shooting. Shaver and Charlie Reed were the visionaries for the program back when it all be- gan, but neither one of them could envision the success it is presently seeing. Kucera, Shaver and Platt helped successfully resurrect USA Shooting’s range facilities in late 2013 by overseeing the installment of new electronic targets, lighting and technol- ogy that brought the facility up to world-class standards. They are present in force at


every match, of which there are many, helping to ensure safety of competitors, man- aging the competition and ensuring a smooth opera- tion for all involved. “They do a tremendous job running the club while putting in countless volun- teer hours to support USA Shooting,” said Pete Carson, USA Shooting’s Director of National Events. “They are the most knowledgeable about our range, take on variety of leadership roles in support of our efforts and continually host some of the best club competitions around.” Their involvement doesn’t


stop there. Numerous so- cial groups and sponsor functions arranged by USA Shooting and the U.S. Olym- pic Committee migrate regularly through the facil- ity hoping to try their hand at Olympic-style shooting. Helping to guide them are Shaver and Kucera and their junior program as they walk them through the fi ne art of the sport, while pay- ing particular attention to safety and the educational enhancement that comes from teaching those often unknowledgeable about the sport.


Like so many volunteers,


giving back to something offers a reward far great- er than the sacrifi ce. For Kucera and the others in- volved in the club, it’s about seeing the kids succeed. “I have always enjoyed


volunteering,” said Kucera. “I like having the opportunity to make a difference. I love working with the kids. I en- joy watching them grow and having the satisfaction that I may have had a positive in- fl uence on their future.” The pay-off is similar for


Shaver. “I enjoy sharing the sport with others, particular- ly kids,” he said. “The pro- gram has, and does, take a great deal of time and ener- gy, and I wouldn’t do it with- out the payback in knowing I was involved in helping kids learn the sport, to prog- ress and be successful, and move on in life with some great lessons learned.” Platt jokes that they’d also do just about anything for a meal ticket. One of the few perks


receives is getting to dine among the athletes at the world-class dining hall lo- cated at the Olympic Train- ing Center.


It’s a relatively


small price to pay for the contribution each has made


March 2015 | USA Shooting News 15


both to the young shooters they mentor and to the dedi- cation they provide in main- taining one of the nation’s premier shooting ranges. The club has been built


with a family-like mentality, its success a direct refl ec- tion of the hard work and sacrifi ces each coach, young shooter and parent is willing to contribute. It’s for these reasons the club is almost a victim of its own success with an expanding waiting list for those interested in joining.


Location, equip-


ment, parental involvement, and affordable cost are all seen as contributing factors of the club’s success ac- cording to Kucera. Having all this plus being


based at the Olympic Train- ing Center — well, that’s the cherry on top for all involved. “You can’t downplay the im- pact of being here,” Shaver said. “I think it sets a pretty high standard for everyone, and we all push a little hard- er.”


the threesome


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