Youth the future of our sport as SSAA turns 70 years young

This month marks the 70th birthday of the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia. For our Association to be in such a strong position financially, politically and membership-wise, is a testament to you, our members, who are the lifeblood of our sport.

The SSAA has weathered many storms since our creation in April, 1948. As we fast approach 200,000 members, it is evident the SSAA is alive, well and growing. The reason why we continue to grow despite facing some challenges is simple: we are getting the job done. All of us are playing our part to protect and nurture our sport, from the staff to the vital volunteers; the club organisers to the board members; and everyone in between. For that, I personally thank each and every one you for making the SSAA what it is today.

Our birthday comes as the world’s best shooters from the Commonwealth countries converge on my home state of Queensland to compete for gold. With SSAA members part of the strong team representing Australia, I encourage everyone to show their support. Tune in and promote the event among your friends, remembering that for some, this will be their only exposure to our sport. Get along to the Belmont Shooting Complex in Brisbane if you are able to attend and cheer on our athletes.

While mainstream media coverage is often lacking when it comes to the shooting events, our publications team will be providing you with daily coverage of the Games on our website and Facebook page. Simply sharing our posts with your social media networks is a great way to promote our sport and show that it is a legitimate recreation.

Many sports see a surge in interest from new participants following big events like the Olympic and Commonwealth Games. Getting involved in a new sport can be both an exciting and daunting time, so I encourage you to support a mate and take them out to the range for a shot. Passing on our knowledge of our recreation and safe firearms handling is invaluable and, even if they don’t pursue it any further, a positive experience with shooting can go a long way.

Now more than ever is the time to introduce a younger person to our sport, as we entrust the next generation with growing and protecting our recreation. The SSAA’s Sponsor a Junior initiative is a great way to introduce a young person to our sport. In addition to this, we are always on the lookout to profile our up-and-coming shooters who help motivate other young people. If you know a junior who is a top shot or displays great commitment to our sport, email us.

Although we have been excitedly preparing to celebrate our big milestone, our lobbying team has had a busy few months already, making our ever-presence felt in Canberra. We have also been active on the world stage as we work with other likeminded organisations to fend off consistent attacks on our recreation. Be sure to sign up to our newsletters via our website to receive the latest pressing news in between editions of this great magazine.

Once again, I would like to thank you for being part of the SSAA and making us one of the largest sporting organisations in the country. Remember, there is strength in numbers. Happy 70th birthday!

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