Sports Spotlight: Capital City Young Guns

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 5:49 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Just under three decades ago, Mark Sandness wanted to start a shooting organization near the Capital City for people to get into a sport he had just started in.

“We started in 1995. I thought it was a great way to own my own business, I think that’s everyone’s dream. It turned into wanting to share my skills with other people,” said Mark Sandness, Capital City Sporting Clays founder.

Capital City Sporting Clays began with adults, and in 2014, Mark and a group of guys wanted to expand the sport to the younger generations.

“A bunch of us sat down at a table and said, ‘You know what, this youth program needs this.’ We went from helping some kids out during the week to needing a board, let’s raise some money. Let’s teach them right from the get-go,” said Sandness.

It’s turned into a non-profit organization called the Capital City Young Guns, and the kids who take part are eager to learn.

“Teaching kids are great because you have this clay that you’re molding, and you can tell a kid to go out and do something and they’ll do it. They always say ‘alright,’ and they get off on the right foot,” said Sandness.

For the kids, it allows them to aspire to go as far in the sport as they can.

“I just fell in love with it. The first time I shot I just couldn’t stop doing it. I hope to maybe go to Olympic level, or maybe National level. Something higher,” said Hayden Risty, Young Guns member.

“It’s not going to stop if these kids keep pushing it. It’s just going to keep growing. There’s kids that take a couple months, a couple years, but when it clicks, it clicks. They have a great time with it, and what’s better than busting something and not having to clean it up,” said Sandness.

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