The fourth annual National Junior Challenge was held over the weekend of July 14 to 17, 2011, at the SSAA Majura Complex in Canberra. Hosted by the SSAA ACT Junior Development Section, the four-day competition included Rimfire Field Rifle & 3-Position Rifle Metallic Silhouette and Combined Services .22 Trainer/.310 Cadet events.
There were 55 nominations for the Challenge, with shooters coming from the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland and Western Australia. The strongest contingent was from the home state of the ACT, with 19 shooters, followed by 15 from Victoria and 10 from Tasmania.
The juniors ranged from beginner level to experienced, with some holding quite high grades in the disciplines. Nevertheless, they competed in a friendly and happy spirit. Competitors shot particularly well over the weekend, with many achieving personal bests and qualifying for SSAA Discipline awards.
The Rifle Metallic Silhouette match had an exciting shoot-off. Naomi Nerdal (ACT) and Victoria Clifford (Vic) shot at the metallic chicken targets for first and second places in the A grade, with Victoria winning with three scoring shots.
Although the official events were .22 rimfire Rifle Metallic Silhouette, Field Rifle and 3-Position, many of the juniors also participated in the Combined Services .22 Trainer/.310 Cadet demonstration event, which was held on Thursday afternoon. Many found the open-sighted rifles challenging.
The Saturday night dinner was attended by 115 people and was catered with a delicious spit roast. Of course, an event of this magnitude does not happen without a lot of helpers. Thank you to Dave True, Alex Brace, Darius Krivanek, Kaye McIntyre, Scott Youngs, Dave McCarthy, Dave Thompson, Peter Churchill, Ross Bills, Peter Bland, Linda Bland and Miles Kibel, as well as the many parents, coaches, scorers, range officers, first-aid and safety officers, caterers, volunteers and other general helpers.