The next gen­er­a­tion

On a sin­gle day more than 650 school stu­dents were com­pet­ing at Field & Game Aus­tralia grounds across the state. Some were ex­pe­ri­enced branch mem­bers but the ma­jor­ity had been in­tro­duced to the sport through their school, and they are the fu­ture for the s

Field and Game - - SCHOOL SHOOTS -

By far the big­gest shoot was at Minyip Field & Game where the Western Zone School Shoot at­tracted 378 com­peti­tors.

The mam­moth shoot started 18 years ago, just three years af­ter the for­ma­tion of the branch.

Shoot or­gan­iser Tanya Clarke said it was al­ways a chal­leng­ing task for the reg­u­lar band of vol­un­teers but also re­ward­ing. “It has been grow­ing and grow­ing ev­ery year and we get great sup­port from our neigh­bour­ing clubs and Gal­lagher In­sur­ance, who have been there from the start, and Winch­ester and GB Corvisia,” she said.

“We’ve def­i­nitely re­fined the run­ning of the event over the years and be­cause it is sin­gle bar­rel, 24 tar­gets, we get through it pretty well; the chal­lenge we have is it is very tax­ing and tir­ing on the core mem­bers.”

The shoot has proved ben­e­fi­cial to the rep­u­ta­tion of the shoot­ing sports and has acted as a con­duit for re­gional Field & Game branches to re­cruit ju­nior mem­bers. “Teach­ers come up ev­ery year and con­grat­u­late us on how well run the event is, how well be­haved the kids are,” Tanya said. Across in the north east of the state an­other 213 stu­dents from 23 schools were com­pet­ing in the Be­nalla P-12 Col­lege Clay Tar­get at the Reef Hills range. The shoot started in 1962 as a Down the Line (DTL) event or­gan­ised by Be­nalla Tech­ni­cal School as­sis­tant prin­ci­pal, Char­lie Whitla, the fa­ther of or­gan­ised school com­pe­ti­tion in Vic­to­ria. The shoot ex­panded and ran con­tin­u­ously un­til 1993 when a one-in100-year flood in­ter­vened. Noel O’con­nor and Rod Berger from Be­nalla Col­lege took over the run­ning of the shoot in 1994 as­sisted by Be­nalla Field & Game mem­bers, and the com­pe­ti­tion changed to Sim­u­lated Field.

At the same time, stu­dents were also out en­joy­ing the sun­shine and smash­ing clays at Sale Field & Game for the an­nual Welling­ton Shire schools shoot.

Seventy-nine stu­dents from the five sec­ondary schools in the Shire par­tic­i­pated in the fi­nal in­ter-school shoot­ing event for the year.

The shoot has now been run­ning for 10 years, and the aim is to com­bine two dif­fer­ent forms of tar­get shoot­ing.

This year stu­dents shot a round of five tar­gets DTL (sin­gle bar­rel), us­ing the os­cil­lat­ing trap, and two rounds of 10 sim­u­lated tar­gets, at five stands, with two sin­gle-bar­rel tar­gets at each stand.

A great day was had by all, with ref­er­ees, ar­moury, of­fice and trap set­ters sup­plied by the Sale Field & Game branch with help from FGA mem­bers across Gipp­s­land. H&S Firearms of Sale do­nated the prizes.

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