Stu­dents aim­ing to learn

About 100 stu­dents par­tic­i­pated in the North­west School Shoot hosted by Bar-rook Field & Game Aus­tralia on the Mon­day af­ter the open­ing week­end of Duck Sea­son.

Field and Game - - School shoot -

The Field & Game Aus­tralia schools' com­pe­ti­tion con­tin­ues a tra­di­tion that started back in the 1950s when Charles Whitla saw a need to ed­u­cate Wan­garatta Tech­ni­cal School stu­dents about firearm safety and the cor­rect tech­nique for fir­ing a shot­gun.

When Mr Whitla later moved to Be­nalla he started a sim­i­lar pro­gram and chal­lenged Wan­garatta to a sim­u­lated field shoot.

In the years since, the com­pe­ti­tion has grown and more than 7000 stu­dents have com­peted in the clay-tar­get events run by Field & Game branches.

The Bar-rook ground is in New South Wales near Barham but is also serves mem­bers from Koon­drook on the Vic­to­rian side of the Mur­ray River.

Shane Storm, the tar­get co-ordinator at Bar-rook was pleased with the dis­tances some schools had trav­elled to par­tic­i­pate. “We have two schools from Gee­long and one from Bal­larat, which is pretty good,” he said.

Three mates from Swan Hill also com­peted on the day.

Lachie Dunn, who walks us­ing crutches and shoots from a chair, is the leader of the pack. “I've al­ways been shoot­ing,” he said. “Swan Hill Field & Game is on our farm; it's just good fun and not much pres­sure.”

The Swan Hill Col­lege stu­dent had friend Hamish Robertson along for the first time. Hamish at­tends a dif­fer­ent school, St Mary Mackil­lop Col­lege, but they share a school bus and an in­ter­est in shoot­ing sports. “It's good to do, good fun,” Hamish said. “We live on a farm and we go shoot­ing when we can. I en­joy shoot­ing but this is the first time I've been to a clay tar­get shoot with school.”

The only hitch was that Lachie and Hamish ended up in dif­fer­ent squads so the ex­pe­ri­enced hand wasn't there to lead the way. “I en­cour­age Hamish a fair bit; it is good to be in­volved in the sport and it teaches re­spon­si­bil­ity,” Lachie said.

The third mem­ber of the trio, Lachie >>

>> Hil­ton, said he first used a shot­gun un­der su­per­vi­sion when he was eight years old. “Some of the school shoots are fairly com­pet­i­tive but you get to come out with your mates for a shot and you also learn about safety,” he said.

Lachie Dunn said that even at school level, the sport has a per­cep­tion prob­lem among the unini­ti­ated. “Peo­ple shouldn't look down on it be­cause it in­volves guns,” he said

“I reckon there is more skill in­volved in shoot­ing than a lot of sports.”

Shane Storm said FGA school shoots en­cour­aged ju­niors into the sport of Aus­tralian Sim­u­late Field but in an en­vi­ron­ment where they were taught the right way. “We teach the right gun han­dling, the safety as­pects, and how to shoot the dif­fer­ent tar­gets bet­ter as they progress through the sport,” he said.

“It is a very clean, healthy sport and safe, while the peo­ple you meet in the sport are great.”

Lachie Hil­ton fin­ished third in the se­nior boys (non-mem­ber)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.