A shooting competition on TV in 1986 spurred Shari LeGate to sign up for lessons at her local gun club. She was handed a 20-gauge club gun, told to put cotton in her ears, tie on a builder’s apron and was directed to a group of elderly men on the shooting field: “Go out there and those guys will show you how to shoot,” were the famous first words of Shari’s introduction to the shooting sports. By 1988, she was a member of the U.S. Shooting Team, scoring medals worldwide for the next 12 years.
Prior to her success on the field, Shari studied marketing, broadcast journalism and art history at Arizona State University. At Group W Broadcasting (now CBS) she wrote copy for radio commercials and started an in-house marketing newsletter. Upon retirement from competition, Shari began writing columns for industry publications including Shooting Industry in the late ’90s and GUNS Magazine just a few years ago.
She was honored with the International Distinguished Shooting Badge from the DoD, but her greatest achievement was creating the “A Day at the Range” program while executive director at the Women’s Shooting Sports Foundation. It introduced over 30,000 women to the shooting sports and laid the groundwork for programs such as First Shots and Babes With Bullets.
Reflecting on the growing number of women in the sport and industry, Shari offers, “The most impressive thing I’ve noticed is the tenacity of women. This is a male-dominated sport and industry. Over the years as women have entered both aspects of it, no matter the challenge, they surpassed expectations, and no matter the setback, they’ve risen above it.”