The Australian competitive shooting landscape continues to be impacted by ongoing COVID-19 restrictions both at a grassroots level and for the elite. Our Olympic shooters came home without a medal but having put in a gallant effort and gained a wealth of experience.
The 12-month delay of the 2020 Tokyo Games and lack of elite international competition experience due to travel bans appeared to affect our competitiveness in a strong field of shooters. SSAA members Katarina Kowplos and Laura Coles performed admirably on their Olympic debut, the pair who competed in the Rifle and Skeet disciplines speaking to Australian Shooter earlier this year about their unique preparation and their challenges.
Our own Australian Women’s Shooter columnist Laetisha Scanlan also recorded some strong performances in the Trap events, finishing an Aussie-best fourth in the women’s individual competition which made for some great viewing from home and as we went to press, the entertainment was set to continue late last month as our Paralympic team prepared to compete from August 24. Meanwhile Olympic gold medalist and Australian Shooter columnist Russell Mark has cast doubt over the merits of the current selection process and outlines his thoughts on Page 16 as competitors and officials reset and look to Paris 2024.
In the political space, an unreasonable decision by freight giant FedEx-TNT to rule out transporting firearms and related products has been met with anger from Australia’s multi-billion-dollar firearms industry. The SSAA is also bitterly disappointed this misguided judgment was made without consultation as we instead look forward to working with transportation companies which have chosen not to discriminate against our chosen sport and pastime.
On the home front the SSAA National Board has made the tough decision to cancel National Championship events for the remainder of 2021. National Coaching and Disciplines Supervisor Denis Moroney said the decision was made with an abundance of caution to ensure the ongoing safety of competitors. “The changing status of restrictions this year has made it difficult for national competitions to continue, with a number of disciplines already affected by cancellations,” he said. “To maintain the integrity of our competition calendar, the remainder of national and international competitions scheduled this year will be cancelled. Members should check the SSAA website for further information.”
In other news, our efforts to showcase the sustainable harvest and cooking of game meat has made waves internationally. Field to Fork – Second Helpings has been named winner of the 2021 Gourmand Cookbook Awards Best Meat Cookbook – Australia and is now in the running for the Best in World title next year. This is the second time the Field to Fork cooking movement has been recognised by this prestigious initiative, with Field to Fork – The Australian Game Cookbook having been named Best First Cookbook – Australia in 2013.