Rifle club shows well in Carberry
Jackie Simpson, Submitted photo... Members of the Portage Junior Rifle Club with their hardware earned in Carberry on Saturday. Back row: Larry Gibbs (instructor). Front row: Devon Jack, Colin McGregor, Jonathan Karsin, Ethan Wood, Will Simpson.
The Portage Junior Rifle Club went to Saturday's Annual Manitoba Junior Rifle Competition in Carberry with five shooters, and came home with five trophies.
Prizes were awarded to the students with the best scores after shooting two targets, writing a firearm safety exam, and performing a demonstration of proper firearms handling.
"The junior rifle program in Manitoba stresses the three S's - safety, sportsmanship, and shooting in that order - and that's how we teach it," said instructor Larry Gibbs.
Three of the awards are postal awards, which are based on results from the members' home club and then mailed in.
Ethan Wood won the beginner individual award, while Will Simpson won the novice individual award.
Meanwhile, the team of Wood, Devon Jack, Jonathan Karsin and Andrea Bertram won the beginner team trophy.
On Saturday, the squad of Jack, Wood, Karsin and Colin McGregor won the beginner team award, while Wood notched the beginner individual award.
"When you're working with five kids and we get five trophies, we're doing alright," said Gibbs. "I'm quite happy with the results.
"They acquitted themselves very well. I'm quite proud of the kids."
Gibbs has been involved with the club for over 30 years, beginning when the club was based out of Portage. The club now shoots out of the High Bluff Community Centre.
"There hasn't been much change on the shooting side, but numbers drop off a little bit," said Gibbs. "We shot .22 rifles (when I started). Now, we don't have a range accessible in the wintertime, so we shoot air rifle in the basement of the local community hall."
Gibbs said even though numbers have declined from when he started, he's still interested in running the club for "the foreseeable future".
The club, which ranged from eight to 10 members this year, shoots from November to May, and begins accepting members at 10 years of age.
"We'll take whoever comes and help them as much as possible," said Gibbs.
"We'll give everybody the opportunity if they want to."