At our league shoots we award medals to u/13 as well as u/17.
At our recent National championships we awarded u/13, u/17 boys and u/17 girls.
By rewarding a youngster with a medal, it encourages them to participate. A piece of cheap metal goes a long way. If I recall correctly, of the 54 shooters who qualified for our nationals, about 15 were juniors.
My son Francois at age 15 won the junior title and came 4th overall. He was awarded national Protea colours and is now part of the SA National team entered for worlds in Italy.
Francois was lucky and managed to get a sponsor. This pushes him even further as there is recognition for his performance.
Without the juniors we will only see wheelchairs and walkers at the shoots in a few years.