Competition was fierce and records were broken at the 2013 National Junior Challenge held in Canberra earlier this year. SSAA junior shooters travelled from Victoria, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to join their ACT counterparts at the SSAA Shooting Complex at Majura. The field of more than 45 competitors took part in three days of target shooting from July 5 to 7, battling it out in cold conditions and difficult winds.
Overall honours in the 4-Gun Aggregate went to South Australia’s Alex Payne in the Under 18 category and Tasmania’s James Freeman in the Under 15 category. Alex and Mitchell Stevens, who placed second in the Under 18 4-Gun Aggregate, also featured among the provisional records shot throughout the competition. Alex’s overall 10m Scoped Air Rifle Precision score of 396.23 is a new record, while Mitchell’s overall Field Rifle Rimfire aggregate of 380.11 and his Standing Post score of 96.1 also set new benchmarks at the junior level.
For the remaining records shot, the Field Rifle Rimfire was where the junior participants really excelled, with New South Wales Under 18 competitor Benen Livermore achieving 94.2 in Rapid Fire, South Australian Under 15 shooter Jordan Robinson shooting 96.1 in Offhand and Victorian Under 18 competitor Wilson Swan scoring 99.3 in Sitting Post.
On the final night of the competition, competitors joined forces for a meal and a fun quiz night, where it was smarts that counted for skill.
SSAA ACT President David True thanked all competitors for their participation and said the future looked bright for the sport of target shooting with such talent coming through the ranks. He was also pleased to see the maturity of the junior shooters and more than happy that they were safe and had a great time.
“The talent of the junior SSAA members coming through the competition and shooting at their local clubs is very promising and it means our sport will be around for many years to come,” he said.
“The sportsmanship showed over the weekend between the competitors as they helped each other and competed in tough conditions was encouraging. It was a great event for us to host in the ACT and we look forward to doing so again in the future.”