IT’S not often that Echuca pulls a state championship in any sport.
This weekend, the town is in the firing line as Echuca Gun Club holds the 2017 Victorian State Trap Championships.
The president of the club Stephen Atkins said it was a great opportunity
‘‘This is the second biggest and most prestigious event in Australia in our sport, only behind the national championships,’’ Atkins said.
The Echuca trap shooting club is one of the largest clubs in the country, which has recently undergone a major renovation in preparation to host this major event.
‘‘Behind Wagga, we are the second biggest trap club in the country, it’s a beautiful club that we have, so we are very honoured to be holding the event.’’
The championships, which take place over the 10th through the 12th of November, will see some of the finest shooters in the country descend on the town.
‘‘Of the 400 people who are coming, probably 100 of them would be considered top line shooters. And of those 100, I would say that 10 of those are the pick of the bunch,’’ Atkins said.
‘‘We are talking about guys who have won multiple national championships, even world championships. These are some of the best shots in the world coming to town to participate. So anyone who is taking wins at the championship has really achieved something.’’
Not only will the club be hosting the event, but some of Echuca’s best shots will also take part.
‘‘We’ve got three our four who you can expect to be around the pointy end. Someone like Stephen Haberman won two events at the NSW carnival last month. Richard Viney also won an event, as did I personally,’’ Atkins said.
‘‘I could name another four or so guys who have the ability to pull great results.’’
The club has spent a lot of time and resources in preparing the venue to be at national championship standard, with a large new shooting shed built at the site, as well as updates to the traps.
‘‘The club is fantastic. The grass is in great knick, its a really enjoyable place to shoot, but its also a really good place to watch the sport and see some of the best shots in the country,’’ Atkins said.
The championship also provides a boost to the local economy.
‘‘When you take into account 400 shooters, plus members of their families who will be coming down as well, you can imagine that a fair amount of money will be coming into the community by doing so.’’
The championship is the first big event in the club, with an Olympic team event to be held early next year, featuring many of the Tokyo 2020 hopefuls from around the country.