For those looking for a sport that involves good hand-eye co-ordination, a calm temperament and gives no advantage to one gender over another, clay target shooting may be it, says Moa Creek Clay Target Club president Mike Duncan.
Duncan, who was competing in a club event at Moa Creek on Sunday, said he had been involved in the sport for about eight years, after his “next-door neighbour dragged me along”.
He kept coming back for the camaraderie, as much as for the sport.
“They’re good people, from all walks of life,” he said.
“They travel a bit to attend events.”
The Moa Creek club was founded in 1897 and is believed to be the oldest continuously operating clay target club in New Zealand, celebrating its 125th anniversary later this year.
Competitors get 20 targets each, changing places on five different lanes to give different angles of fire, and individual handicaps determine how far from the launch trap each is situated.
Membership sat at 16, and the club would welcome more participants, Duncan said.
For novice shooters, the club offered a way to learn responsible gun handling along with the thrill of competition, and there was no room for hotheads in the club or in the sport, he said.
“If you lose your temper, you don’t do so good,” he said.
Competitions are held nationally and between the islands, as well as South Island and local championships.
Although clubs competed in squads, the final results came down to individual achievement, Duncan said.
“There’s only you out there; you can’t blame anyone else.”