Lismore target shooters aim for growth
DEREK Cassar's wife told him to get a hobby nine years ago and the captain of Lismore Target Rifle Club hasn't looked back.
Now he's hoping others will take the plunge into the challenging world of target shooting.
"We have about 40 members, but we're always looking to grow membership," Cassar said.
"We get everyone here - farmers, doctors, we had a lawyer, business owners, families and kids.
"Every time you see a gun on the news it's all bad. But this is a legitimate sport - look at the Olympic or Commonwealth Games.
"We're really trying to promote ourselves as a competitive sport."
Cassar, who joined the club for the challenge it offers, said playing rugby league, or any contact sport, was inherently more dangerous than target shooting.
"We have to follow very strict rules and regulations, we get police checked and they even stop by from time to time," he said.
"It's a very safe sport."
Participating in target shooting over 35 metres to 90 metres, competitors either position themselves prone on the ground or shoot from a stable bench with a .22 rifle.
Cassar said hitting the target once could be a fluke, but repeating it was another matter entirely.
"It's in your body movement and everything - breathing, shaking, things like that," he said.
"Sometimes the kids coming to have a try are so excited it messes up their shot.
"You need to be calm, relaxed and concentrating. There are some variables involved."
Cassar, who owns a Lismore lawnmower repair business, hopes interest in target shooting grows in the lead-up to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
"They're renovating the range up there before the Games, so we're hoping we get a few coming down this way," he said.
CLUB IN A NUTSHELL
The Lismore Target Rifle Club, which is affiliated with Target Rifle Australia, is located just outside Lismore on Rifle Range Rd, Tuncester.
The range is shared with the Lismore Target Pistol Club.
For more information go to www.lismoretargetrifleclub.asn.au. To join, phone Derek Cassar on 6621 4905.