by SSAA Mackay President Peter Finch
For the past seven years, the Mackay Regional Council in Queensland has hosted the Mackay Sports Expo. The Expo is sponsored by Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal, Rio Tinto, Mackay Regional Council, Sports Power and the Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association. The Expo, held in February, encourages all sports to advertise, inform and promote their pursuits and thousands of interested sports fans attend the event on the designated Sunday.
The SSAA Mackay Branch has been part of the Expo for all those seven years and the public response has always been brilliant. Branch members operate the booth and respond to all sorts of questions ranging from firearm licensing and safety courses to hunting and reloading activities.
This year, many brochures and booklets, provided by SSAA National and Queensland, were distributed on the day. The Shooting and the SSAA – a beginner’s guide publication with our branch business card was the most popular by far. Many patrons stayed to also enjoy our video presentations. We fielded many questions from parents who wanted to steer their children into safe shooting practices. Also, a large number of young women were very keen to ‘come and try’. As the following months passed by, these same faces appeared at the range and many have since become SSAA members.
Another area of interest came from local graziers, farmers and hunters who were seeking information about SSAA Queensland Conservation & Wildlife Management and SSAA Farmer Assist programs. Pigs and wild dogs are always a problem. Once again, we could provide part of the solution.
I encourage all SSAA branches and clubs to promote their activities to the wider community wherever possible to do so to ensure the future of our chosen sport. SSAA Mackay is out there and we will certainly be attending next year’s Mackay Sports Expo.