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Gun Club aiming for big turnout

Thursday, 9th May, 2019

Broken Hill Gun Club secretary Wayne Channing (left) and president Darryn Nicholls with some of the senior prizes and junior trophies on offer at this weekend’s West Darling Championships. PICTURE: Tyler Hannigan Broken Hill Gun Club secretary Wayne Channing (left) and president Darryn Nicholls with some of the senior prizes and junior trophies on offer at this weekend’s West Darling Championships. PICTURE: Tyler Hannigan

By Tyler Hannigan

The Broken Hill Gun Club will host a two-day shooting event as a revamped West Darling Championships are held over this coming weekend.

The championships kick off at 8:30am on Saturday with three of six events held throughout the day including the Champion of Champions, Pointscore and Double Barrel before the Handicap, Single Barrel and Double Rise events are held the following day.

All events are graded (Overall, AA, A, B and C Grade) apart from the Handicap on Sunday morning which is a team’s event and has cash prizes from first to fifth place.

In conjunction with the senior championships, the inaugural South Australian Clay Target Association (SACTA) Junior Masters Championships will also be held across the two days. The junior event will consist of three events; Double Barrel, Single Barrel and Pointscore.

Prizes on offer over the two days include firearms, equipment and ammunition as well as Weber and Stihl products. Dinner will be available on the Saturday night. 

The event is an annual one but it’s been ramped up for 2019, according to Broken Hill Gun Club president Darryn Nicholls.

“We’ve put a lot of work in around the club’s grounds, getting everything nice and tidy and getting it looking as neat and as good as anywhere,” Nicholls said yesterday.

“We’ve spent around the $20,000 mark in terms of trophies and sashes. We’ve got a nice catered meal set for Saturday night and as far as we can gauge, because it’s hard to get a proper number at this stage, we’re hopefully looking at over 100 shooters from all over the place like Echuca, all over South Australia, Mildura and beyond.

“There’s a wide range of people coming.”

Nicholls explained that the club is attempting to return the event to some of the glory of past years.

“Years ago, when things were better, you would get 115 to 120 shooters,” he said.

“Those days have kind of died off but we’re trying to revamp it to get that amount again if possible and to make it a ‘must go to’ event for all the shooters that travel.”

Incorporating a junior’s event has been one way of breathing life into the weekend, with Nicholls taking inspiration from another town’s shoot. 

“It’s an idea that I got from Cobar and their clay shooting club,” he said.

“They run the NSW Junior Masters Championships and while we’re in NSW, we’re affiliated with South Australia so it was an idea to hold them (the SA Junior Championships) because they don’t do it anywhere else in SA.

“If we could get it going then it’s here at this club once a year, every year and it draws more shooters in. You need the junior shooters coming through to keep the sport going.” 

As well as the junior event, Nicholls said that an increase in prizes and a new event were designed to attract new competitors.

“The new event is Double Rise that throws out two targets at a time and you have a shot at each target,” he said.

“It’ll be the first time we’ve incorporated that into the progra. It’s popular with Victorian shooters.

“You’ve got to put up money and prizes, run a good shoot, to make it worth the travel because you’re so far. You’ve got to entice them out here.”

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