EIGHTEEN YOUNG SHOOTERS participated in the first Canadian National Skeet Shooting Camp at Comox Lake.

EIGHTEEN YOUNG SHOOTERS participated in the first Canadian National Skeet Shooting Camp at Comox Lake.

Youthful shooters take to skeet in Comox Valley

Young shooters gathered for the first Canadian National Skeet Shooting Camp recently at Comox Lake.

Young shooters, novice and experienced, gathered from the mainland and the Island to take part in the first Canadian National Skeet Shooting Camp at the shotgun venue of the Courtenay and District Fish and Game Protective Association.

For many years, NSSA Youth Camps have been held all over the United States to introduce young shooters to the game of skeet. Now, for the first time, the camp was offered in Canada.

Five Certified Level 1 NSSA skeet instructors, led by zone instructor Bob LaRue, as well as over 20 very experienced and skilled volunteer assistants came to the camp at their own expense, from Calgary, Kelowna, Vancouver, Langley, as well as from all over Vancouver Island.

Eighteen 12- to 16-year-old participants travelled from Kelowna, Vancouver, and all over the Island to learn fundamental shooting skills and safe gun-handling practices at the Comox Lake facility.

The students worked hard improving their skills over the three-day Labour Day weekend, and even first-time shooters amazed the adults with how quickly they picked up the sport.

To the delight of the students, Jonathon Weselake, captain of the Canadian Shooting Team, gave an exhibition of Olympic skeet shooting. Jonathon trains at the Courtenay facility, and offered shooting tips and spoke about the route to the Olympics.

Jim Leggett, chair of the shotgun venue said, “With an event of this scope, members of the club have put in hundreds of hours of planning, fundraising, and organizing.  But what really pulled everything together and made it such an awesome success  was the contribution of the more than 50 volunteers who instructed, coached, and mentored the kids, or who put out three fabulous meals every day for over 70 people at the camp.  It was truly a community and family affair.”

Dale Frame, president of Courtenay Fish and Game, also acknowledged the community sponsors that made the camp possible.

“We had overwhelming support from local, Canadian, and even American businesses through their contributions of food, prizes, ammunition, targets, and cash. We were even able to borrow or purchase guns in a range of sizes to suit young shooters.”

Instructor Tony Anteo from Vancouver revealed his passion for the sport.  “I postponed my wedding to come to this camp.  I have an understanding fiancée.  This is an event I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

The students were the true measure of the success of the camp.  Not only were their shooting skills impressive by the final day, but their evaluation of the weekend brought out comments such as, “The cooking was amazing, and the instructors and mentors were amazing too”.  Another said, “I am really enjoying this camp,” and “Can’t wait for the next one!”

— Courtenay and District Fish and Game Protective Association

 

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