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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 GeorgiaSouthern.edu/SSEC.


Club Sports Help Eagles Soar

Written by Caroline Boykin

Club sports on the Georgia Southern campus are student-led and student-run organizations, hosted through Campus Recreation. 

With over 20 club sports to choose from, students wishing to play a club sport have a myriad of options. Club sports are less practice-intense than traditional athletic teams but are more competitive than intramural sports. 

Participating in club sports has helped students grow personally and professionally, make friends from a variety of majors and deepen their sense of belonging in the university community.

“I have made some lifelong friends and made some very memorable experiences in my last three years in the run club, which I am grateful for,” Darwin Singleton, the president of the running club, said. “I also learned having social groups outside of the class can alleviate stress, which consequently drives more success in the classroom.”

Many club sports take part in tournaments against other universities, allowing students to travel all around the southeast and even across the country for games. 

“I had no idea students played dodgeball out of high school, then fast forward a few months and I am in Ohio at a tournament with my team,” Sam Ursey, president of the dodgeball team, said. “Being in a club sport allows me to explore outside of Statesboro and build connections with students at other universities across the United States.” 

Club sports give students on the Georgia Southern campus unique, meaningful experiences. Students gain a community of students with similar interests and passions, while having a fun outlet for physical activity. 

Campus Recreation invites all university students to drop-in to the club sports fair January 18 at 6 p.m. to learn more about the 26 different club sports offered.


Disc Golf Course Coming to Armstrong Campus

Written by Caroline Boykin

A disc golf course is coming to the Armstrong Campus of Georgia Southern University! 

Nestled among the woods south of the tennis complex, the new 9-hole disc golf course provides the Armstrong campus community with a fun and challenging new sport on campus. “We are excited to offer another fun engagement opportunity for our students, faculty, staff and community on campus,” says Campus Recreation and Intramurals (CRI) Armstrong Campus Director Megan Feasel.

The 9-hole disc golf course gives players two playing options in the form of a short course and a long course. Each hole has two tee pads allowing players options to play each course independently or mix and match for a full 18-hole round. A practice area is also available to allow students to warm up before hitting the course.

This disc golf course is open to students, faculty, staff and the general public, making it a game for the entire Savannah community. CRI hopes this disc golf course gives students a fun, exciting new way to spend time with friends and enjoy the outdoors. The course will be open from sunrise to sunset every day, and those with an Eagle ID can check out equipment from the Armstrong Recreation Center (ARC). There is no cost to play.

Campus Recreation and Intramurals invites the Armstrong community to celebrate the opening of the new disc golf course on November 9 from 3 to 5 p.m. Players are encouraged to bring their own equipment, but CRI will have equipment on hand for those who would like to try out the course.


Campus Recreation is hiring!

Written by Caroline Boykin

Campus Recreation and Intramurals (CRI) provides a meaningful work experience in a positive environment, while providing the Georgia Southern campuses with opportunities to stay physically active, hang out with friends and spend time outdoors. Working at Campus Recreation allows student employees to have a hand in creating memorable experiences for their peers, while having lasting experiences of their own.

We are looking for motivated individuals to fill roles such as bike techs, facility assistants, fitness specialists, golf course attendants and groundskeepers, group fitness instructors, lifeguards, shooting sports assistants and more! We’re especially keen on those with past experiences in the field, but we encourage everyone to apply. We are hiring at both the Statesboro and Savannah campuses and have a role specifically for you.

No two days working at CRI look quite the same. Each day brings new exciting opportunities to grow, learn and have FUN! 

“CRI has such a welcoming environment. Working here is like being part of a big family,” Halley Gardner, a lifeguard at the Aquatics Center, said.

CRI’s purpose is to inspire self-discovery through sport, fitness, wellness and adventure. In order to fulfill this purpose, teamwork is an integral part of this work experience. CRI provides a supportive, engaging work experience for all employees and has the added benefit of providing career readiness and leadership development – tools that look great on your resume!  Apply through the Student Employment Center and search for “CRI” to join our team today!


Into the unknown: How three Eagles took on the Appalachian Trail

Written by Caroline Boykin

Three Georgia Southern University students set out to hike the Appalachian Trail in February 2021. Christian Scott, Wilson Calhoun and Dillon Calhoun took a semester off of school and completed the 2190-mile hike, taking more than 130 days to complete.

“Wilson, Dillon and I went bioluminescent kayaking with Southern Adventures and we were immediately hooked,” said Scott. “Southern Adventures really solidified my decision to hike the Appalachian trail, because we had a whole team of people back home, who were stoked for us to do this.” 

These Eagles hiked through 14 states during their more than four month adventure. Some Southern Adventures members met up with the hikers along their journey. Together they spent time rock climbing along the trail, giving the guys a nice little reprieve.

“I learned so many new skills working at Southern Adventures. Everyone has been so encouraging, so I was really excited to tell them about the hike,” said Wilson Calhoun. Calhoun took his experience on the trail and is now sharing his expertise with others as a Trip Leader for Southern Adventures.

The men hiked 20 miles per day on average, with their longest single-day hike hitting 52 miles and completing the “four state challenge.” The four state challenge requires hikers to cover four states in one day: Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

“Part of adventure is being uncomfortable, basically the whole trip was facing the unknown. I want to share the mindset of being excited to face the unknown with the people at Southern Adventures and our trip participants,” said Wilson Calhoun. 

Southern Adventures has a full calendar of backcountry survival skills from October 4-8, to learn more about these events visit cri.gs/southernadventures.