ACT NOW! ND Needs To Voice A Sport That Best Depicts Residents
This may be surprising to many, or hard to believe, North Dakota currently does NOT have an official State Sport. Being we are a heavily active state, especially when comes to our outdoor sports, one would have thought there were numerous sports considered to be The Official State Sport. Young athletes young and old enjoy physical fitness across many facets, thus we were surprised to hear this discussion was being decided with only one sport on the table.
During legislation on Wednesday, January 18th, 2023 according to KFYR-TV, Sen. Sean Cleary, R-Bismarck brought SB2229 before the committee to make "Curling" the official sport of North Dakota. It was mentioned by Sen. Cleary that North Dakota has 11 different curling clubs and that Fargo and Bismarck currently compete in a curling national championship in Denver.
The Senate Education Committee did vote to designate curling as North Dakota's state sport. After receiving this "do pass" recommendation, the bill will now advance to the Senate for a vote of the full chamber. If passed by the Senate, it would move to the House of Representatives, according to The Forum Fargo-Moorhead.
That is wonderful that Curling is gaining popularity in the state.
DO YOU feel this sport accurately depicts the people of North Dakota?
A state that is known for being legendary, and having a long tradition of activities such as being home to the World's Oldest Rodeo in Mandan, phenomenal pheasant hunting, UND has put our hockey programs on the map, followed by NDSU taking over the football scene as a program not to mess with. and the list goes on and on. One cannot help but wonder, has there been enough discussion on the topic?
17 States have named an Official State Sport. A sport that has NOT been "OFFICIALLY" named by a state is Trap and Sporting Clay Shooting. A lifelong sport that has been a long-time tradition for many outside of competition. A sport that has 38 North Dakota schools currently competing against one another as well as ON A NATIONAL LEVEL. Colleges and Universities across North Dakota have added Sporting Clay, Skeet and Trap Shooting to their sports programs, with members becoming National Winners. Checkout BSC, Jamestown College, NDSU, UND, and DC - Bottineau to see how popular it is. Trap and Skeet shooting is considered one of the FASTEST growing school sports across the nation. This sport is growing so fast that it is even now part of the North Dakota High School Rodeo Association with the addition of trap and rifle shooting. Then there is the sport of Fishing. Home to Lake Sakakawea, the anglers should also be considered as a "State Fishing Sport. With the Walleye Capitol of the World being in Garrison, North Dakota along with Wally the Walleye; fishing is a lifelong sport that has an enormous recreational economic impact.
HUNTING & FISHING ECONOMIC IMPACT
Lifelong sport and produces economic value. Hunting and fishing contributes significant dollars to the economy in North Dakota from both residents and the tourism that it draws. According to the North Dakota Game & Fish website the 2017-2018 season study results showed, "hunters and anglers in North Dakota spent $974.4 million on equipment, vehicles, boats, travel, lodging, food and many other items. These expenditures generated $1.1 billion in secondary economic benefits resulting in gross business volume of $2.1 billion, according to the NDSU researchers. According to the NDSU report, resident hunters and anglers accounted for $846.8 million of total expenditures, while nonresidents contributed $127.6 million. Anglers spent $787.8 million and hunters $186.6 million. Residents spent a total of $486.4 million in rural areas, while nonresidents spent $89.6 million, for a grand total of $576 million -- or 59 percent of all spending -- in rural areas.
The sport Clay Trap and Skeet Target Shooting teaches students and adults of all ages, lifelong lessons in sportsmanship, building communications skills, handling firearms respectively, meeting people across diverse backgrounds, and most importantly can be experienced as a lifelong sport leading one to compete even in the Olympics or build memories with many loved ones all while enjoying our beautiful North Dakota Outdoors over a lifetime.
Regardless of your favorite pass time, we hope you do enjoy it as much as possible. (This food for thought is just coming from some rodeoing, football, basketball, volleyball players and hockey fans, AND outdoor enthusiasts all around. We appreciate it all.)
We encourage you to work with your local sports clubs to discuss this topic. It is an opportune time for youth to learn the legislative process. Contact your Senate and House Representatives, and voice what will depict our state best in all aspects.