Skip to main content

Shooting Sports Education Center Prepares High School Student for Junior Olympics

Written by Caroline Boykin 

The Georgia Southern University Shooting Sports Education Center (SSEC) takes a personalized approach to each individual wishing to sharpen their shooting or archery skills. 

Katlyn Sullivan attended a Women’s Rifle team’s match hosted at the SSEC when she was in middle school, and immediately knew she wanted to take lessons in rifle shooting. Not even 12 months into her training with Ashley MacAllister, the assistant director of the SSEC and rifle coach, Katlyn has qualified for the Junior Olympics in the air rifle division. 

Sullivan’s family reached out to the SSEC to obtain private rifle lessons from MacAllister to prepare her for her school’s upcoming rifle team tryouts. Sullivan quickly became invested in the program offerings at the Shooting Sports Education Center. 

“We are really fortunate to get to see our participants grow in their confidence levels and expand their skill set,” MacAllister believes. 

MacAllister created a personalized shooting lesson plan for Sullivan, beginning with an eye dominance test. The eye dominance test allowed MacAllister to determine that Sullivan was actually better suited for a left-handed rifle despite being right-hand dominant. From there, Sullivan worked weekly with MacAllister to improve her technique, precision and shooting positions. 

Sullivan achieved her initial goal of making her school’s rifle team. Her ambition and drive gave her a new goal: the Junior Olympics. MacAllister and Sullivan continued their lessons, shooting weekly on electronic targets similar to the ones used at the Junior Olympics. The Shooting Sports Education Center is the only range in the Statesboro area equipped with electronic targets. 

Initially, MacAllister provided Sullivan with highly structured lessons, educating her on the parts of a firearm, cleaning a firearm and positioning her firearm. After Sullivan mastered the basics, MacAllister challenged Sullivan to develop skills on her own and verbalize what she felt needed the most improvement during lessons. 

“I do practice matches sometimes, but I like to also shoot what I feel I need to improve on until it is worked out,” Sullivan said. 

MacAllister and the SSEC allow participants to define their own goals and take an active role in their lesson planning. The SSEC also works to give students a sense of confidence that they can carry with them in their day-to-day lives. 

“The SSEC has given me the ability to focus through things because in the public range when other people shoot you learn to tune them out and focus on yourself,” Sullivan explained. “During school tests now I have gotten better at staying focused and tuning everything else out too.”

Sullivan plans to attend the Junior Olympics in the air rifle category in Hillsdale, Michigan and will continue learning and growing under MacAllister at the SSEC. 

The SSEC is one of two collegiate shooting education centers in the United States of America and prides itself on teaching the community to safely handle and use  firearms and bows. If you’re interested in scheduling a private firearm or archery lesson, contact the SSEC at 912-478-7732 or visit the Shooting Sports webpage at


Posted in Uncategorized