Girls take aim on the shooting range
SCHOOLGIRLS on the Darling Downs are taking up a weekend sport with a difference.
Westbrook's Caitlyn Pederson is just one of many girls in the region who have begun competing in the sport of shooting.
Recreation and competition shooting associations have reported a surge in junior numbers in recent years, with females leading the charge.
Inspired to take up shooting two years ago after seeing her dad take part in the sport, Ms Pederson said she loved the mental challenge shooting provided.
"There is so much more to shooting than just firing a gun down the range," she said.
"The challenge of hitting the middle of the target is something which never gets old.
"So much of the sport is mental with routine and discipline important factors in doing well."
Les Armitage of the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia said the emphasis put on safety protocol was the reason parents were happy for their kids to take part.
"Everyone who decides to give shooting a try needs to pass safety courses and testing before they pick up a gun," he said.
"For the juniors there is a supervisor for every shooter and other regular checks that take place.
"We have some junior divisions where the girls outnumber the boys. The increasing participation rates are something we are very proud of and hopefully they continue to grow."