Judith Legerski CMP Chairman and CEO Talks to HAM
Back in June, I visited Camp Perry in Ohio to watch the 2017 CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program) National Air Rifle Championships. While at Camp Perry, I was privileged to meet Judith Legerski CMP Chairman and CEO. She had travelled from her home in Wyoming to watch the competition and present the prizes.
The full story of the competition and winners was published in Hard Air Magazine previously in the post by Ashley Brugnone, CMP’s official writer.
Judy was enthusiastic about the quality of the shooting, as we can see below!
Judy is a lovely lady who holds the statutory responsibility under Federal Law for fulfilling the CMP’s Mission. In summary, this is “To promote firearm safety and marksmanship training with an emphasis on youth.”
In particular, this emphasis on youth training encompasses airgun shooting through links with 4-H, JROTC and similar organizations.
Judy explained to me that the CMP was created by a 1996 Act of Congress as a federally-chartered, not-for-profit corporation. In summary, it’s functions are as follows:
1. To instruct citizens of the United States in marksmanship.
2. To promote practice and safety in the use of firearms and airguns.
3. To give priority to activities that benefit firearms and airgun safety, training, and competition for youth that reach as many youth participants as possible.
Judy explained that many CMP programs are dedicated to training coaches and instructors. They also provide instructional books and other materials to educate those coaches and their students. She was delighted to watch the CMP National Air Rifle Championships in June and see the 399 young shooters who had reached the National Championships at Camp Perry.
Judy is clear and eloquent about the benefits shooting offers young people. The discipline improves their academic grades, she explains, it gives them the opportunity to become part of a team and compete together. This gives them a direction and focus in life.
And it obviously works! Judy explained how gratified she has been to see scores in air rifle competition improve year-over-year and the qualities she sees in the young competitors.
In another example of well-deserved success, Judy proudly highlighted the example of Ginny Thrasher, who won Gold Medal at the 2017 Olympics in Rio and who had benefitted from the CMP’s programs.
She also emphasizes that – because of this discipline – airgun target shooting is about the safest sport that there is! It has been years since there was an injury caused by target shooting. Laughing a little, she compared that to the huge number of injuries sustained annually by kids playing soccer, football, baseball, rugby and other more physical sports. But we all understand the seriousness behind that subtle humor…
Judy is delighted to see the increasing numbers of girls shooting in 3P competition. At the 2017 CMP National Air Rifle Championships, girls outnumbered boys by 228 to 171. And girls won both the Precision and Sporter Classes with some outstanding shooting!
To counteract the inevitable “equipment race”, Judy explained that Sporter class places a $600 limit on the cost of the air rifle in 3P competition. Sporter Class is also shot without the aid of dedicated shooting jackets, pants and shoes. Competitors shoot in regular clothes, mainly jeans and tee-shirts.
Sure, the scores in Sporter Class are lower than in Precision, but they are not THAT much lower. The highest score in the Precision was 697.9. The winning Sporter score was 668.3. These top scores were made by girls in both Classes. Judy has a special fondness for Sporter Class!
For more information about the Civilian Marksmanship Program, check out their website http://thecmp.org
I’d like to thank Judith Legerski CMP Chairman and CEO and the whole Civilian Marksmanship Program for taking the time to talk to me and fordoing such a great job!