In 2011 the circle seemed to be complete. My new neighbour, Michael Johnson – Athens Paralympic Gold medalist – asked me to check out his shooting range based in his hallway. Having asked the ridiculous question “how hard can it be?”, I proceeded to miss the target on multiple attempts and became extremely frustrated but also hooked.
I took up the sport of shooting (10 metre air rifle), and represented New Zealand in a number of World Cups. In Sydney I shot an MQS (minimum qualifying score) for 2012 London Paralympics in the R5 Prone discipline. The dream was to compete in the London 2012 Paralympics but it was a long shot (pun intended) and I wasn’t successful.
I kept shooting, setting my sights (more puns) on the Paralympics in 2016 in Rio, and while I was a last minute selection due to the Russian Athlete ban, I did not go. But in a lead up World Cup I won my first World Cup medal, a bronze for the team’s R5.
I’m trying for 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, but as with Rio, my chances are very slim but that won’t stop me trying.
I belong to PASC – Parafed Auckland Shooting Club – with an amazing range in Mt Eden. Our club caters for both able bodied and IPC shooters with fully electronic targets. Come along and have a go.
Visit Parafed Auckland Shooting Club's facebook page www.facebook.com