National Carnival a joint effort
Wodonga Albury Field & Game is the official destination for the 2017 National Carnival on November 4 and 5 but in order to make history by operating six grounds it has become a joint effort.
Wodonga Albury president Mark Reynolds said a record number of squads was a big challenge and keeping shooters moving through the stands would require a lot of effort.
“We are well on the way to having a great National Carnival,” he said.
“It isn’t just our branch, we have the support of Cobram who will operate two grounds and Benalla who will also manage two grounds, we are all in it together.”
Mark said the smooth flow of competition would depend as much on the competitors as the organisers.
“Having six grounds we will have roughly 180 shooters out at any one time so there won’t be as much time in between, perhaps an hour between rounds,” he said.
“It is a little bit daunting having six grounds but we have the room, I have paced it out. We will also have quite a good number of cherry pickers and a 100 ft boom lift for elevated targets.”
Now in the final few months of preparation, it has been a long haul for the Wodonga Albury members, who started thinking about hosting the National Carnival a long time ago.
“From three years ago, we first had ideas to run the National Carnival again; the club needed money and improvements >>
to our facilities,” Mark said.
“It was put to the committee way back then and they were happy with the idea but we couldn’t do it straight away, we had to build ourselves up.”
In the past year the branch received $92 000 through the Victorian Government’s Shooting Sports Facilities Program and it has been spent wisely.
“We have put that and more back into the club upgrading the kitchen, new water tanks, reliable power supply, toilets and 10 brand new traps.
“We also have a new five stand facility, which is a great benefit with extra storage and shedding.”
The five stand will be used as the practice range for the Carnival.
Mark said the branch was now ready to host another National Carnival.
The ground is only 15 minutes from Wodonga and Mark hopes many competitors will make it a family trip.
“Albury Wodonga is a great spot and being a long weekend for many there’s plenty to do here: the snow is an hour away, and we have all the wineries and food in the region.“
Accommodation is something to think about with Midnight Oil already selling 8000 tickets to a performance in Albury on the Saturday night.
“We want everyone to drive away from here saying it was one of the best shoots they have ever been to; we think they will,” Mark said.
Wodonga Albury president Mark Reynolds