I would like to open my address first by acknowledging Nick Sullivan for his dedicated service to Target Rifle Australia, who retired in May after eight years on the board directors, and the last three as President.
We are now out of the Covid-19 lockdowns, which we know cruelled us for a period of time. I hope you have been able to remain Covid free, but if you did contract the disease, that you didn’t suffer the effects too much and there aren’t any ongoing long term health issues. As there is a new strain in circulation, I hope you continue to look after yourselves and those around you.
For shooting, we can now look to greater things with the borders opened up, our clubs back into normal operations, and competitions back into full swing.
Target Rifle Australia has had a number of representatives competing internationally at World Cups, and more recently at the 53rd ISSF World Championships in Cairo, Egypt. In May at the World Cup in Baku, the men’s air rifle team of Michael Davis, Jack Rossiter and Dane Sampson came away with the silver medal, and in July at the World Cup in Changwon, Jack Rossiter finished 5th in the men’s 3 position match. Congratulations to all the members of the Australian teams on your performances, and we wish you success as we are now in the build up to the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Continuing with the international topic, the ISSF has changed its programming of rifle and pistol events, with the ISSF World Championships occurring every two years, not being an Olympic or Commonwealth year. This cycle commences in 2023 with the next World Championships scheduled for August/September in Baku, Azerbaijan.
In 2026, Australia, and in particular Victoria, is playing host to the Commonwealth Games. Everyone involved in the negotiations needs to be recognised for getting shooting back on the list of events. This wasn’t an easy task for those involved. There are a lot of disappointed people with only 10m Air Rifle on the schedule from the point of view of target rifle, but the alternative was there wouldn’t have been any shooting, so we must be thankful.
After the original plans that the shooting events would be held around the Bendigo region, it has now been confirmed that it will be held in Morwell, Gippsland, south east of Melbourne. For the rifle and pistol air events, there will be a temporary structure built to host the event.
Everyone has been struggling with the lack of ammunition supply. Lapua and SK ammunition finally arrived on the 10 November which has now hit the stores, and the next shipment of Eley ammunition is due to arrive on the 10 January. We have heard reports also there may be two further shipments by July. We understand that Eley are now running 3 x 8 hour shifts every day to get back on top of production. This has to be good to hear… a little bit of Christmas cheer!
Just before I close, I want to invite you all to attend the TRA Nationals Championships in Perth next year, 2023. The last time the Nationals were held in Western Australia was 2012. WASRA now have a new range at Whiteman Park to the north of Perth, fitted out with Meyton electronic targets on both the 10m and 50m ranges. There is also a 20m/90m dual range match to make the trip even more appealing. So let’s all get there, show support from the east, and make this a huge event!
I want to thank everyone on the board for their support since becoming President, and their continued dedication to this sport, to our members, and to our direction for the coming years. I would also like to thank our Executive Officer Richard Toye, who just recently announced his retirement from TRA, after 8 years.
In closing, I want to wish everyone and your families a safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope you all get to enjoy the festive season, and get to share it with family and friends. I look forward to catching up with many of you over the next year at the range somewhere.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year