SHEPPARTON’S Small Bore and Air Rifle Club plays host to the 2021 Target Rifle Australia National Championships this week, with about 95 shooting athletes descending on the Pine Lodge shooting range.
The competition has also attracted members of the Tokyo Olympic team – Elise Collier, Kata Kowplos, Dane Sampson, Jack Rossiter – who will join the rest of the pack for the five-day shoot-out to determine national champions across 12 different events.
If for some of you, the words ‘rifle shooting’ bring up images of the stiff-upper lipped hunter, Van Pelt, from Jumanji, these rifles are more akin to something The Terminator would carry.
Modern target rifles look more like bionic contraptions rather than something your grandfather’s father carried into World War Two (and thankfully for a vastly different purpose, too).
Sue Lott of the Shepparton Small Bore and Air Rifle Club, who started shooting on the family farm when she was 12 and is a former national champion herself, said the event had been a long time coming in the new COVID world.
“Some of these shooting athletes are the best in Australia, we are very lucky and we’re excited to have them here,” she said.
“Only a month ago the governing body, Shooting Australia, made this a performance series event, which means anyone wanting to compete at the Olympics of Commonwealth Games can come and their score will go towards that.”
Sue urged anyone interested in the sport to come by the range at the Pine Lodge Recreation Reserve, 1127 New Dookie Road to witness some of the action.