2008 Recipient, Champions of Youth Marksmanship Award

Ken Sabo is known for his lifelong dedication to creating programs that teach safe and enjoyable shooting on to the next generation of enthusiasts. It is because of this dedication that he was awarded the Crosman Champions of Youth Marksmanship Shooting Award. Candidates for this year’s Award included many outstanding shooting supporters from a variety of groups, all dedicated to recruiting and retaining young shooters. Sabo was one of three finalists chosen from a broad group of qualified candidates by a committee of his KenSabopeers.

According to Ken D’Arcy, Crosman Corporation president and CEO, Dr. Kenneth Sabo has touched the lives of more young shooters, particularly in the 4H Clubs of America, than almost any person involved in shooter education today. “The key to growing our sport and maintaining it as a vital element in recreation is recruiting and motivating new blood.

In shooting, young people are our future. We must all be mindful of the fact that a sport that’s not growing is in danger of regressing. Keeping the pipeline full must be a high priority for everyone involved in building both the industry and the sport.

Dr. Kenneth Sabo has been preparing young people for a lifetime of safe, enjoyable shooting for more than three decades. He has created programs, helped to train instructors and coaches and architected fundraising to support the sport. Dr. Sabo is a professional educator with a passion for shooting. There are few people involved in our sport today who have made as significant an impact on its future. He is a most deserving recipient of the 2008 Crosman Champions of Youth Marksmanship Shooting Award.”

Since earning his doctorate in education from Arizona State University in 1973, Dr. Sabo has been involved in promoting shooting and shooter education. His first post was as an employee in the University’s state 4H office in Tucson. When he was assigned to conduct an outdoor camping and conservation camp for the 4H Youth Development Program, he added an airgun event the very first year. It was the first of many shooting opportunities he incorporated into 4H programs during many years of work with both national and state programs.

After 10 years of dedicated work, Dr. Sabo recognized the need for more funding and founded a fundraising arm for the National 4H Shooting Sports program, the 4H National Shooting Sports Foundation. He served as its executive director for seven years. During that time, he organized the first National 4H Shooting Sports competitive event, serving as its director for the first two years. In 2003, he hosted the National 4H Shooting Sports Workshop to help recruit and train the next generation of 4H shooting leaders.

But perhaps Sabo’s greatest legacy, according to Crosman President D’Arcy, is his dedication to instilling a respect for safe shooting and building youngsters’ self-esteem through achievement. “If effectively motivating young people to appreciate the shooting lifestyle is the key to building our sport, then Dr. Kenneth Sabo is one of the most dedicated, hardworking mentors we’ve got. The 4H Clubs of America, the industry and our sport are all fortunate to have him as an example to emulate.”