Damien Webb of Ballina will compete in shooting events at state and national level in May.
Damien Webb of Ballina will compete in shooting events at state and national level in May. Cathy Adams

Ballina man to be Australia's first Indigenous shooter

BALLINA rifleman Damien Webb has been earmarked to become the first Indigenous shooter to represent Australia.

The prediction comes from five-time national champion John Radford, who competes at a number of events around Australia with Webb.

"He has an excellent sportsman attitude and I think it's something he can do," Radford said.

"Like a lot of Indigenous athletes he's a natural and can just about do anything he sets his mind to."

Webb, 40, has been in the sport for only a couple of years and regularly shoots in events with current and former national champions.

He competes in the Queensland Cup and won gold on both days at an event in Brisbane earlier this month.

Webb finished with an impressive 596.45 (out of 600.60) on the first day and 598.46 on the second.

Representing Australia is something the handy marksman and keen fisherman would love to do.

"Hopefully I keep going well and it's something to look forward to," Webb said.

"It's been talked about and my aim is to finish in the top five at nationals this year.

"I'm not getting any younger and some of the kids coming through help keep me on my toes."

Webb has had a busy 12 months and recently acquired a custom-made Grunig and Elmiger Racer rifle from Switzerland.

He will compete in the target rifle benchrest competition at the nationals in April.

"It's been plenty of time on the trigger and hundreds of kilometres on the road," Webb said.

Radford believes Webb is a pioneer in the sport and a role model for the Indigenous community.

"He's been a real shining light and hopefully he can attract some other blokes to the sport," Radford said.

"Not all Indigenous men have the talent to play footy and this is a great alternative."



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