B.C. athletes gathered at Richmond’s Rod and Gun Club (RRGC) for this year’s national air gun championships.
The Canadian Junior National Air Gun Championships saw 30 athletes at the Richmond gun range on Aug. 20 representing B.C. in a cross-country competition in two disciplines: air rifle and air pistol.
Male and female shooters ages eight to 19 competed against other provinces remotely with B.C. winning 10 out of 18 possible medals, three gold, four silver and three bronze, across Canada.
“This was a great start to getting our sport going again after two years of no club level matches across the province,” said Julie Bryson, air range director and coach at RRGC.
Bryson told the Richmond News the competition is also a chance to look for the next set of athletes for the Olympics.
“The range was alive with so many athletes, volunteers, and spectators … (who were) all there to help these athletes reach their goals and build a great national team for the 2024 Olympics in Paris and the LA, USA Olympics, 2028.”
While Bryson described shooting as a “quiet sport,” minus the “bang,” the biggest challenge for most athletes is themselves.
“The biggest demon is yourself when you overthink … with the pressure of having to shoot a bullseye that is smaller than the back of the head of a pen.”
However, seeing kids coming out to compete and seeing them enjoy the sport is rewarding for Bryson.
“It’s very rewarding to see these kids do well, and there’s nothing more satisfying than watching these kids succeed,” she added.
A hibernation match will be held in the first week of November to determine which athletes will head to Nova Scotia to represent B.C. in the 2023 Canadian Junior Air Gun Championships.
Shooters with RRGC will also be heading to the BC Target Sport Association Provincial Championships in Kamloops from Sept. 3 to 5.