Potential members queuing up to Try Shooting

Perfect weather greeted more than 40 participants at the second SSAA ‘Try Shooting’ event last Saturday at the Wodonga range. Gemma Dunn, SSAA National Coaching and Membership Development Manager is piloting the program and hopes to offer it to other states soon.

Said Gemma: “Introducing new people to our sport in this manner – a safe, friendly, fun and controlled environment – goes a long way to highlighting that our sport really is one for everyone to get involved in.”

Shooting is known as one of the few sports where age, gender, physical ability and background don’t affect your participation and this was underlined yet again at Wodonga with the sessions featuring a mix of men, women and juniors along with a couple of attendees with disabilities, everyone shooting their targets with unparalleled accuracy for their beginner status.

Said Gemma: “Participants in both groups we had were outstanding. It was made clear from the start we don’t tolerate unsafe behaviour from anyone and I had absolutely no concerns. Everyone listened to the instructions and that made for a really fun day for all.”

The ‘Try Shooting’ sessions are designed for the absolute beginner all the way through to former armed forces personnel, targets varying throughout allowing participants to choose their degree of difficulty without holding anyone back.

“We try to mix things up a bit so no two targets or games are the same,” said Gemma. “The idea is to get people shooting, not shooting a specific discipline – that comes after they join the SSAA and beyond.”

Targets used on the day were certainly not standard competition ones, ranging from basic to more elaborate ‘pointscore’ targets to even shooting the common bathtub rubber duck, decorated by the children of SSAA Wodonga committee member Brad Maloy.

‘Try Shooting’ days couldn’t happen without the support of the core team at the clubs and ranges who host them. “SSAA Wodonga were an absolute pleasure to work with and I’ve had lots of positive feedback from attendees about the range officers, facilities and the overall positive feel of going to the range for the first time,” said Gemma. “Many have said they’ll be returning and a few have already joined.”

If you’d like to know more about the program or are interested in hosting a SSAA ‘Try Shooting’ day, e-mail Gemma Dunn at [email protected].

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