To the Daily:

As the president of the club rifle Team here at Michigan, myself and other members of the team were extremely offended by your reference to our club sport as obscure (The cult(ure) of club sports, 10/06/2009). Seeing as that you aren’t familiar with, nor have you bothered to ask us anything about our sport or visit our table at Festifall, allow me introduce you to it.

The Michigan Rifle Team, a Rec Sports club team, dates back to 1907. The club has historically offered women the opportunity to learn and develop shooting skills. Throughout most of the club’s history, practices were held at the the University’s ROTC range alongside the ROTC rifle team. In the late 1990s, the building housing the ROTC range was demolished and no new range was constructed on campus to replace it. Since then, the Michigan rifle team has used the Jackson County Sportsmans Club’s range, which is a 45 minute drive from campus.

With over 300 people signing up to join at Festifall and the Rec Sports Expo, it has become painfully apparent to us that the primary hindrance to our membership is that we must drive 45 minutes to practice, , and often rely on rides from older shooters who commute to Jackson from the Ann Arbor area. Most of our expensive equipment is borrowed from them. We also receive financial support from individuals, Michigan businesses and corporate foundations. We can’t be too obscure or we wouldn’t see such outside interest in our team’s performance.

The term “obscure” was simply unnecessary. That was a judgment passed down by you without having spoken to any of us and mostly without basis. We sincerely request that in future publications about club sports and varying levels of popularity and competitiveness, you either make appropriate contacts and garner evidence for your statements, or avoid making mention of clubs like ours entirely.

Cathy Fan
The letter-writer is president of the Michigan Rifle Team

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