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Targets set to fly

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Hayden Potgieter during the Northern Cape Standard Championship in September. Insert: Bryan Muller (11), a Gr. 5 learner of the Douglas High School, is the youngest member ever in the history of the Chairman’s Cup to shoot on merit. Photos: Facebook/Northern Cape CTSA
Hayden Potgieter during the Northern Cape Standard Championship in September. Insert: Bryan Muller (11), a Gr. 5 learner of the Douglas High School, is the youngest member ever in the history of the Chairman’s Cup to shoot on merit. Photos: Facebook/Northern Cape CTSA

The largest domestic clay target shooting event takes place this weekend at the Kimberley Clay Target Club when competitors from all of nine provinces compete in the annual Chairman’s Cup.

Each of the nine provinces field a team of 12 competitors, who are split into four individual discipline teams, making 108 competitors in total.

Each discipline team of three competitors will shoot 150 targets per team member in one of the four disciplines. The disciplines are Amateur Trapshooting Association (ATA) trap; National Skeet Shooting Association (NSSA) skeet; FITASC universal trench; and FITASC sporting.

Throughout the year, each province has held trials to select their best competitors and in most of the provinces it is a tough battle to qualify for this interprovincial competition.

Clay target shooting is described as an exciting outdoor sport where competitors shoot moving targets which fly through the air at varying speeds and angles. This sport is suitable for all types of competitors, from social shooters to Olympic athletes.

It is not a strenuous sport and requires no specific physical prowess beyond being strong enough to hold a shotgun. It is said that the mental game will ultimately determine the success or otherwise of a competitor. Focus is key to achieving the high scores needed to win the overall trophy.

Apart from having the honour to host this national event, the Kimberley Clay Target Club is also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Formerly known as the De Beers Gun Club, the club is now run and competitions administered by its members, family and friends. The club was founded by De Beers members with the assistance of De Beers, who provided the land and material to construct the club facilities and ranges, and subsequently added additional members from the now closed Sandiacres Gun Club.

The Kimberley Clay Target Club is run under the auspices of the Northern Cape Clay Target Shooting Association to advance and develop the interests of clay target shooting in the province, and is part of the Clay Target Shooting Association of South Africa.

The annual awards ceremony takes place on Friday (25/11) where National Protea Colours, Association Merit Colours and other awards are presented to winners and high achievers of the year. The Chairman’s Cup, sponsored by Consulmet, takes place on Saturday from 08:00 to 17:00, and on Sunday from 09:00 to 12:00 at the Kimberley Clay Target Club next to Samaria Road. Spectators are welcome.

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