TIMBOON P-12 School students enjoyed strong results at two recent school clay target shooting events.
Last week, 15 Year 7 to 10 students from the school went to Minyip for the Minyip Field and Game School Shoot, which saw more than 380 people from across western Victoria take part in sporting clay single barrel events.
It was the group’s first time competing in the Minyip event, with nine of the group plus another student competing in Lake Gillear’s Warrnambool School Clay Target Shoot on Monday.
Timboon Field and Game school program co-ordinator Pat Gleeson said the Minyip event was a long day for all involved, with the contingent leaving Timboon at 6.30am and returning after 8pm.
He said the students managed to acquit themselves well despite the early wake-up call and lengthy bus trip.
“It was a good experience for the kids to shoot in a different competition outside of our normal zone and to see a different part of the countryside a lot of the kids haven’t seen before,” he said.
“We probably had mixed results, most of the students probably shot around the 50 per cent mark but we had a couple of our boys shooting around 17 or 18 (targets) out of 24.
“Matthew Simpson was the best of them, he shot 19 out of 24 and there were a couple of others not far behind him up there.”
At Lake Gillear, Jack Lenehan and Jade Van Es both achieved placings, with the pair finishing equal third and third in the novice male and female classes respectively.
Lenehan shot 18 out of 24 targets but missed out on taking his place in a shoot-off, while Van Es shot 14 out of 24 to finish in a three way tie before she subsequently finished third in the shoot-off.
Gleeson said the group of students “competed well” at Monday’s event.
“Overall it was pretty good because we had a couple of other novice boys shoot 15 to 17 out of 24 which is only a shot or two from the placings,” he said.
“It was also the same with the females, we had another one from Timboon shoot 13 out of 24 which was only one target back from placing.
“Overall they shot pretty well and they are very happy with their results.”
Gleeson said both the school and field and game club were happy with the efforts of the students, who all participated in the after school program run by members of the field and game club.
He said the program has grown in popularity since starting in 2014, when they had only three or four students take part but added “this year we have about 20 so our numbers have really shot up”.
“We had about 13 (join this year) that were Year 7 or 8 that had never shot before so we’ve pretty much doubled our numbers in the last couple of years to what we had three years ago,” Gleeson said.
“We basically teach the kids down here and teach them how to handle a firearm, how to shoot targets and how to safely handle a firearm around people whether its loaded or unloaded.
“General firearm safety is drummed into them from the word go, and basically it teaches them to shoot a firearm. If they’re keen on the sport they can continue on, but this (the program) is done in a proper environment.
“And because it’s after school, we give all the parents the chance to watch and see what is involved and we also give them an opportunity to have a go if they are keen on it.”