I have been able to resurrect a college shooting team after years of not having one run through school and the sport has been popular with a squad of 14 shooters.
The college has been really pleased to support the students and myself in running this term and encourage us to continue as a school sport offered at Tararua College.
We also have had support from the Dannevirke range and had several trips up there to practice. It is certainly a friendly sport to be involved in as shooters and coaches alike are supportive and encouraging of each other.
We had a great day on a recent Sunday, with a team in their first ever Secondary Schools Shooting Nationals Tournament, shot at the Palmerston North range run by Target Shooting New Zealand.
Emma Wheeler Year 11, Rory Poyzer Year 10, and Thomas Inder Year 9 were our top three shooters selected for the nationals.
We have run a school small bore shooting team this term for the first time in many years I understand.
These guys were shooting well on a rest/block so they moved in to the more challenging Sslings (specifically designed shooting jackets with leather slings attached to their jackets and then rifles).
It was only their fifth week shooting in slings and they would be shooting with teams who have been shooting this discipline for years. Schools were only allowed to enter one team of three shooters. There were 26 teams shooting nationally at seven different allocated ranges from around the country.
The ranges had zoom cameras set up so we could all enjoy the national vibe and communicate together.
Our aim for our young greenhorns team was to immerse themselves into a great competition, have fun being there, be proud to be there as a team, and try to shoot about 700 points as a team. The top points earned is 900.10.
These guys smashed our goals. They loved their day, represented themselves and as a team really well, plus they represented the college in a positive professional manner, which we were complimented on during the day.
Not only that, they scored 763.05. A great team total for their first major tournament and definitely passing our points goal.
Greg Bengston, our coach, and I (Raewyn Inder, team manager) were really proud of Thomas, Emma and Rory. They all shot at least one 10.1 (a bullseye) each during the competition, with five being shot through the morning. Thomas shot his personal best card in a sling and it was our team's top card of the day, then Emma achieved top overall score (the total of the three cards each shooter did) and got a personal best score too, and Rory equalled his personal best and got second top score.
At the Palmerston North Range, where the event was held, there were six of the 10 shooters selected to represent the North Island in a North v South competition run after lunch the same day. The North team did very well and took away the win.
Then following the North/South shoot, eight shooters from the North Island team were picked to represent New Zealand to do a postal shot against Great Britain. So our young Tararua team were learning from the best of their age group.
As a team the students walked away feeling proud to have been involved in the competition and all talked about different elements they have picked up. They already have their eye in for what they want to achieve next year and some goals on how to do it!
Well done Team Tararua.