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Monday, 21 January 2019 02:54 am

Shooters celebrate 100 years of their sport in Wellington

Oct 20th, 2017 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

Old smallbore rifle gear on display at the 100th year celebrations

Shooting jackets were switched for dinner jackets at the Wellington Smallbore Rifle Association’s 100th anniversary celebrations.

The association, which is made up of the South Wellington, Melrose, Aotea, Brooklyn and Wellington Central clubs, used its annual prizegiving to celebrate the history of the Association.

The past 100 years has seen changes to the sport, with numbers decreasing in more recent times, says Jess Fair, an executive member from Melrose.

The open champs used to have upwards of 200 entries, now you are lucky to get to 80,says Miss Fair, who complied the association’s history.

In the mid 1920’s, less than a decade after the association was formed, the open champs had about 150 entries.

“It makes you realise how the popularity of the sport has decreased,” says Miss Fair.

Jess Fair prepares to take a shot

For example in the Wellington interclub competition, teams have dropped from five to four members.

The sport is adjusting, with one of the largest competitions, the National District Championships, likely to have a new division for smaller teams from smaller associations.

I would like to see the current clubs grow, and maybe even some new clubs introduced, says Miss Fair, who has shot competitively for New Zealand

She has shot against Australia in the Oceania competition, and against Great Britain, and hopes to make it to the Olympics one day.

Over the six years Miss Fair has been shooting, Ngaio club’s numbers have fallen to the point where it is no longer involved with the association.

“It would be nice to see them return and have the six rifles on our emblem would be represented again.”

Only two of the original clubs remain.

The Wellington Workingmans Club, formed in 1902, is one of the originals, although it is now known as South Wellington.

Brooklyn was formed in 1915, and it’s purpose was to be a place for the Home Guard to train.

They used a Morris tube which allowed a fullbore rifle to use a .22 calibre bullet, making them cheaper to run, but still replicating the fullbore rifles that the Home Guard would use if called up.

A smallbore rifle uses a .22 calibre bullet, whereas a fullbore uses a .303 or .308 calibre, meaning they have a longer range.

If you would like to become involved with smallbore rifle shooting please visit

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