“We are keeping our cards close to our chest,” says Chris who, despite much effort, refused to let the cat out of the bag. “We are definitely not going to let the participants know what they are in for, but we can promise our lady shooters this is an event they do not want to miss.” Held for the first time in 2016, the competition is designed so as not to favour any particular sport-shooting discipline. This year’s competition will also be a completely different kettle of fish, Chris highlights.
MULTITUDE OF PLATFORMS
“Our goal is to test each shooter’s capability with a multitude of weapon platforms. We are also going to change the format completely, so that anyone who did participate last year will find themselves facing a completely new challenge,” Chris explains. Unlike most shooting competitions where the course is shared in advance, allowing participants to practice, Chris is adamant that this event remains different, unpracticed, and something that the ladies can look forward to with anticipation.
“This event, held during Women’s Month in August, is a celebration of the ladies in our sport. We want to test the ability of these competitors. Our goal is to determine who is the best shooter without any preparation.” Chris believes it is important to host events aimed specifically at women in the shooting arena. “Perceptions still exist that shooting is predominantly a male sport, and that is simply not true. Some of the best shooters in the country are women,” he says.
“Showcasing the abilities of our lady shooters through a unique competition such as this is a wonderful way to not only celebrate women, but also to encourage more ladies to take up the challenge, pick up a firearm, and come and shoot.” However, the event goes further than just the promotion of women and shooting. It also showcases shooting for the great sport that it is. “It really places an emphasis on sports shooting and its benefits for men and women.”
NOVICE AND PRO DIVISIONS
According to Chris, the rules are relatively simple. The competition is open to women across South Africa, with the Novice Division requiring participants to have a competency certificate only. They do not have to belong to a shooting club or organisation. The Pro Division, however, requires the shooter to have a competency certificate, and the ladies must belong to a shooting club and/or organisation. “We do not expect participants to bring any firearms along, as all weapons and ammunition will be supplied at the event. This adds to the secrecy, and will make it all the more surprising when the course is revealed on the day.”
OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Last year, a total of 23 women competed in a course consisting of seven stages, with the one more extravagant than the other. “Our participants were taken completely out of their comfort zones, but they all took up the challenge and performed extremely well with the different firearms. It proved how important it is to sometimes push the boundaries. We ultimately managed to showcase the natural proficiency of the ladies with a range of firearms through a great event,” Chris points out. “This year we hope to do it again, and we call on women across South Africa to participate, whether they are new to shooting, or have been doing it for years. This is a wonderful event that really does at heart recognise how good women are at this sport.”
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