“I live in Knoxville, but my heart is on the shooting range.” That’s the mantra on 3-Gun competition shooter, and teenager Sydney Rockwell, another rising star in our series.
NRA Family: When people ask you what you do, what do you say? Elevator speech length.
Sydney Rockwell: I’m a nationally sponsored competitive shooter. I mainly shoot 3-Gun and travel the country shooting in major competitions.
NRA Family: What’s your history in the shooting sports?
Sydney Rockwell: I started in competitive pistol shooting around age 13-14, and shot IDPA and Steel Challenge at that time. I shot my first 3-Gun match June of 2015 and I was immediately hooked on it.
NRA Family: Do you primarily shoot 3-Gun and why?
Sydney Rockwell: I do, because I absolutely love it. I love using all three guns in one stage and I love the complexity of the sport! I love the mental game, too. Planning and executing that plan is essential to success. Sometimes the plan doesn’t go perfectly, but then I learn where I need to improve or make adjustments. It’s also a lot of fun and the community is great!
NRA Family: You have a lot of sponsors. What types of commitments do you have with your sponsors?
Sydney Rockwell: JCAA, Carbon Arms, 5.11 Tactical, Shoot Steel, Swarovski Optik, Hiperfire, Cherry Balmz Weapons Lubricants, AR-15 Gun Owners of America, Briley Manufacturing, Notch Gear and Generation 3 Gun.
What I really love about all of my sponsors is that they are all extremely supportive. They don’t require me to perform at a certain level, they simply want me to go out and have fun and be a good brand ambassador and a good representative of the sport. I take my responsibilities to them very seriously. Each company asks different things of me in terms of our contractual agreements.It is both a job and an honor to be sponsored by these companies. I try very hard to represent them well and to live up to the faith they have placed in me. I strive to be a positive and knowledgeable representative of their products and to promote them to the best of my ability.
NRA Family: Do you consider yourself to be an ambassador for the shooting sports? Why?
Sydney Rockwell: I try my hardest to be a good ambassador for the shooting sports. I love when people ask questions about stages or my gear. I’m always happy to answer any questions and I love telling people about the shooting sports! The shooting sports are fun and challenging and I hope everyone has the opportunity to try it at least once. I hope to be a positive ambassador for our Second Amendment rights, as well.
NRA Family: Have you encouraged or inspired other young women whom you know to try shooting? Do you have any stories about that?
Sydney Rockwell: I hope that I always encourage others to try shooting. I have been told that I am an inspiration from fans on my page and that is truly an incredible honor.I look to my own mentor and coach (Janna Reeves) for inspiration and encouragement daily with my own shooting career. She has taught me so much and I am so grateful to her for her guidance. I am always available to younger or newer shooters to help them. I don’t know everything, but I am happy to share what I do know in order to help others learn and grow the sport, especially for ladies and girls.
NRA Family: What does the future hold and what are you interested in doing when you get older?
Sydney Rockwell: I hope to continue shooting throughout my life. As far as college and interests, I’m looking into engineering and computer systems as potential majors.
NRA Family: Is there a particular discipline in shooting sports that you’d like to try?
I would really like to try PRS. I love long range and I think I would really enjoy it.
NRA Family: Usually, young people get tremendous support from family members … what’s your story?
Sydney Rockwell: My family are absolutely my biggest supporters! I cannot thank my parents enough for taking me to my matches and always being there through the ups and downs. The sport and travel involved is expensive and they sacrifice a lot in order for me to participate at the level that I do. They believe in me and encourage me to continue to do my best in all I do. My younger sisters are also extremely supportive of me and always wish me luck and put a smile on my face! Lots of times they don’t get to do things for themselves on the weekends because I’m shooting and one of my parents has to be with me, but they are always gracious about it and understanding.
NRA Family: What else do you like to do when you’re not training or shooting?
Sydney Rockwell: I’m the captain of my school golf team, I’m also very active in my schools SGA and Science Olympiad. If I’m not shooting, I’m doing something school related!
NRA Family: How can people follow you through social media?