Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia members have returned to international competition for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic stopped the world in its tracks. Images of our much-loved logo and a group of smiling participants draped in the Aussie flag have been a welcome sight and the return of this aspect of competitive shooting is sure to be an exciting prospect for our aspiring elite athletes.
Among the SSAA members who dusted off their passports and flew the flag for Australia at the inaugural Precision Rifle World Championships in the picturesque Moselle region of France were Phil Nash, Scott McMillan and Tristan Wright who took part in a week-long event involving 250 hopefuls from 16 countries competing both individually and as teams.
Precision Rifle is becoming one of the fastest-growing SSAA disciplines with both centrefire and rimfire matches being staged by clubs across most states along with a national centrefire series. Visit the disciplines section of our National website to find out more and, as with every SSAA discipline, the extremely inclusive and supportive community is always keen to welcome newcomers.
In domestic competition, in the SSAA 2022 Benchrest National Championships Les Fraser and John Babic amassed enough points to qualify for entry into the Hall of Fame, an outstanding accolade in what is the pinnacle of Benchrest shooting in this country.
Elsewhere, with spring now well under way most of the country is experiencing a surge in vegetation growth and animal populations. This follows substantial rain across much of Australia this year and places an extra level of importance on effective land management as we head into summer. Mouse plagues, Japanese encephalitis virus, the threat of foot-and-mouth disease and other challenges will be uppermost in the minds of many people nationwide and hunters have an important role to play in not only pest animal management but in taking care of themselves when in the field along with the biosecurity of where they’re hunting.
Now’s the time to step up and offer your unique skillset to help landowners with their already full list of responsibilities and it’s also time to ensure you protect yourself in environments prone to mosquitoes and use responsible biosecurity measures. The SSAA Farmer Assist program is a more formal way of connecting landowners with hunters who can help with pest animal problems so visit farmerassist.com.au to learn more about how you can lend a hand.
And finally the International Shooting Sports Federation has made a formal submission to the Victorian Government and Commonwealth Games Federation for consideration to include shooting in the 2026 Commonwealth Games. Shooting Australia’s endeavours to work closely with the ISSF and other groups to have our sport added to the line-up should be commended and we wait with bated breath for hopefully good news in coming weeks.