Bairns­dale build­ing for the fu­ture

The first en­try on the hon­our board hang­ing in the spa­cious and mod­ern new club room at Bairns­dale Field & Game is dated 1952.

Field and Game - - FGA BRANCH NEWS -

Back then it was called the Bairns­dale Field Sports­man’s As­so­ci­a­tion and field shoots were sup­ple­mented with clay tar­get events held ini­tially in a pad­dock be­hind Char­lie Grow­cott’s house, a log­i­cal choice given he owned the only trap in the district.

Later, the shoots were held on an old shoot­ing ground be­hind the Bairns­dale Rac­ing Club Ho­tel be­fore set­tling at the cur­rent Com­leys Road site in the 1960s. The first club­house was a dis­used con­crete guard house, a rem­nant of its use as a World War II aero­drome.

A roof was built on the guard house so it could serve as the sec­re­tary’s of­fice and can­teen, a far cry from the mod­ern fa­cil­ity the mem­bers now en­joy. “When the Shoot­ing Sports Fa­cil­ity grants were ad­ver­tised we thought it was a good op­por­tu­nity to ac­cess the grant; we had some funds lo­cally through sav­ings, good mem­bers and sup­port from busi­nesses to make it hap­pen,” Bairns­dale FGA pres­i­dent Mick Crane said. “We are very happy with the re­sult; we were a bit slower out of the blocks with con­struc­tion be­cause we had a big con­sul­ta­tion and plan­ning phase with mem­bers, but the proof is in the pud­ding, we got it right.”

The club re­ceived $100 000 from the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment, and with as­sis­tance from a long list of donors and in-kind con­trib­u­tors, de­ter­mined to build some­thing for the fu­ture. “As one of the big­ger sport­ing clubs in East Gipp­s­land we were con­scious that we wanted to con­tinue to grow; we have a lot of ju­niors, and we wanted to leave a legacy for them,” Mick said. “We are see­ing that come to fruition. We had a movie night here last night with our new pro­jec­tor to en­ter­tain the kids dur­ing the night shoot; we had a vi­sion that we could have a club­house that is open ev­ery day of the week for peo­ple to ac­cess and en­gage with the sport, a bit like a golf club is for its mem­bers.”

An­other Shoot­ing Sports Fa­cil­i­ties grant is build­ing two skeet and DTL lay­outs to com­ple­ment the Sim­u­lated Field ground and en­able new coach­ing pro­grams and ju­nior shooter de­vel­op­ment in a broad range of dis­ci­plines. “It has been a very time con­sum­ing but en­joy­able process and we are very happy with how the branch is po­si­tioned,” Mick said.

Michael Crane with fed­eral Na­tion­als MP and Min­is­ter for In­fra­struc­ture and Trans­port Dar­ren Ch­ester

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