Gee­long back in com­pe­ti­tion

Af­ter a break of more than seven years Gee­long Field & Game is again host­ing Aus­tralian Sim­u­lated Field clay tar­get events.

Field and Game - - FGA BRANCH NEWS -

More than 400 peo­ple, in­clud­ing 234 com­peti­tors, at­tended the first shoot at Gee­long Field & Game’s new ground, a shared com­plex on the Lit­tle River Game Ranch, 20 min­utes from Gee­long and 30 min­utes from Mel­bourne.

The re­lo­ca­tion, in­clud­ing clu­b­rooms and traps, was sup­ported by a $100 000 grant from the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment’s Shooting Sports Fa­cil­i­ties Pro­gram.

Gee­long’s last per­ma­nent shooting ground closed in 2004 when the owner sold the prop­erty.

“We were only leas­ing Wur­di­boluc, so we ba­si­cally had to move on, un­for­tu­nately,” Gee­long FGA pres­i­dent Trent Lean said.

“We’ve been on the hunt for a ground ever since, and Peter An­der­son and a lot of oth­ers have put a lot of work in to find an­other ground of our own. We ended up at VCAT un­suc­cess­fully on one prop­erty and then the op­por­tu­nity to set­tle here came up.”

Tem­po­rary set-ups and the more than seven-year gap with­out a club com­pe­ti­tion demon­strate the im­por­tance of sport­ing clubs hav­ing se­cu­rity of ten­ure. De­niliquin Field & Game’s New Year’s Eve shoot was also the last it its long-term home, again due to the break up and sale of the main prop­erty.

“It has been a huge amount of ef­fort lead­ing up to the shoot but the sub­com­mit­tee has done a great job; it is a credit to them — the ex­e­cu­tion and the num­bers that have turned up," Trent said.

Gee­long’s out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tion to wet­land con­ser­va­tion is all the more im­pres­sive given it has been achieved with­out the rev­enue de­rived from shooting sports.

“Our mem­ber­ship base still had con­sis­tent growth even though we didn’t have a ground for many years. We’ve al­ways had a strong con­ser­va­tion pres­ence and hunt­ing and that has held us through the years when we didn’t have a ground but this move re­ally com­pletes the equa­tion,” Trent said.

“This is the miss­ing piece of the puz­zle we haven’t had for years and we hope it will pro­vide growth and the fi­nan­cially se­cu­rity we haven’t had.”

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