Thursday details

One of the new things we’re trying to encourage clubs to do this year to get more college students to take part in competitions is to run a detail on Thursday evenings for students only out in UCD – thus avoiding the bulk of the logistics problems of getting people transported to the far beyonds to get to ranges (which is easy for those of us in our 30s and 40s and 50s who have cars and such, but for students with no cars, no money and no public transport options to get to the ranges, is somewhat more of a challange).

Obviously, this can only apply to clubs using the UCD range for the rest of the details as well, or it wouldn’t be a shoulder-to-shoulder match anymore; but that’s all bar one club (WTSC) right now anyway. So when DURC ran a detail for their Open, guess who volunteered to spend his evening in UCD?

No, not Pierce Brosnan. I wish. The PR we’d get…

Anyway, it went reasonably well. Under-subscribed, with only 6 shooters (two pistol, four rifle). Got to the range late (thanks to the UCD policy of putting up roadblocks on campus like they were going out of fashion), so we started prep time at 1930. The competition went off with only one hitch after that, firing point 6 failed for Thomas Skelly; I moved him to firing point 8 and gave him an extra sighting target, unlimited sighters and five extra minutes, as per ISSF rules (8.6.5.1 for the interested).

Thus concludes the report πŸ˜€

Overall, it’s slow takeup but you expect that to start with. If it gets popular enough with the students, we’ll see participation numbers rise for relatively little effort, and that’s always a big plus.

UCD Open

First time picking up any firearm and shooting with it in several weeks – which is both good, because that’s the fun part of the sport, and bad, because dear grief but there’s a lot of rust. I don’t even want to think about rifle yet, so I shot pistol, and really just plinked. My goal in air pistol remains shooting a full match without missing the aiming mark, and today did not take me much further towards that goal. 74 , 84, 69!, 77, 84 , and 83 to give a total 471. Bleh.

The match itself was a bit of a mixed bag. Daniel’s coming along well, he put in 541 today. Once that man sorts out his head, and maybe his sway, he’s going to nail 570 very bloody fast. Shane Flynn and Iain Nash finished within a point of each other on 555 and 556 – nice to see the potential new DCU Captain giving the established old DURC Captain a bit of serious competition. Brian McEllistrim, the third of the Musketeers, came in at 532, a ways down the field from the other two, but his form is good. Given a bit more training time, I think he’s going to come on pretty fast. Whether he can get that time and captain UCDRC at the same time is another matter though.
Sean McFadden is breezing up through the scores the same way Susan did when she started – 538 today and by early next year, he’s going to be knocking on everyone’s door. Good. People are getting far too complacent again!

Meanwhile, last year’s DURC Squad didn’t show in strength, and worse, other than Paul who’s where he was at six or seven months ago on 518, those that came have dropped their standard a ways – Bernard, Karl and Tommy were both well into the 400s. Comes from not picking up a rifle between the Colours and now. Still, they have a few months to get back up to speed.

Best part of the match, however, was Julia Kaiser, who’s training in UCD for a few months, putting in a 589 with a 100/100. And that’s below her standard. It’s about time we got in someone who could put a solid boot into a few top-level arses to shift them off those laurels! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€

It's finally here…

Arrived this weekend:

ISSF Judges Licence card, Front

ISSF Judges Licence card, Back

So much trouble went into sorting out the paperwork for this one. I’m Irish and in the NSRA and thus the GBTSF; so after I did the course, the GBTSF put me forward for the ISSF licence (which was their idea!), the licence is approved and announced by ISSF and then someone goes “hang on, he lives in Ireland, doesn’t he?”; and the whole process snarls up after the licence is granted but before the little card arrives in the post. Frankly, how the entire thing was handled was a shambles and I’m quite upset at it. I expected better.

However, it’s here now, so we can get on with taking advantage of it, hopefully, and start into the process of introducing things like formal training courses for range officials and statistics officers, and we can start looking into putting together kits to run competitions and so on. More on this as we get through it.

DURC Squad kicks off again

The DURC squad for next year’s Colours match started training last night. Last year, we had 12 shooters show up for the first night of training, and we were a little pushed for space. So you can imagine that the 23 who showed up last night – for the junior squad alone! – gave us a bit more of a shove! We’re going to run half-hour training details from 6 to 10 on Monday nights to get them all in, with details assigned to shooters already. We had a sum total of one slot free at the end of that. This is probably the biggest squad we’ve ever had in training; it certainly is for as long as I’ve been shooting competitively in the club, and it’s got a much better gender balance with 9 girls to 14 boys. This will be useful because frankly, women have a physiological and psychological advantage in shooting, especially from the standing position. (Hips and less testosterone, in other words πŸ™‚ )

As with last year, we have already some serious potential in the squad. It’s too early to say for definite, but if they stick with the training, I think we’ll see most of them between 500 and 520 by the Colours, and probably quite a few will be past there.

So, as for last year, last night saw the explanation of the colours match, how the squad will train, and whatÒ€ℒs expected of them. Then we did some trigger work for about ten to fifteen minutes each from a seated position. Normally, they won’t do that for more than five minutes when we do the drill again during the training, but when 23 people show up, you want something that’s basic and fast to set up as an exercise. Once the rota kicks in, this will get much easier. We’ve not managed to get rifles assigned to people yet, so that’s for next Monday (and with 23 people, it’s going to be interesting…) and cheekpiece setups can wait for a few weeks yet. Not having Stefan about this year will be a bit of a disadvantage, but we’ll muddle through somehow.

We’ll have twelve regular training days between now and the colours match, once a week; they’ll get another session or two for shooting during the week; we’ll get to at least two or three matches in the new year, and we’ll do at least one of those in Wilkinstown so they’re used to the WTSC range. We’ll also have to put up a few photos of the WTSC and UCDRC ranges in DURC so they know what to expect in terms of looks at least. And I have a few new ideas for training drills and so on.

And that’s just the junior squad. We’re still working out what to do with the dozen or so shooters competing for places in the experienced squad!

Yup, this year’s gonna be a good one allright πŸ˜€

Long time, no time

Gosh, who’d have thought a job, a social life, helping run a club, helping run the NTSA and coding up a side project would take any time at all? Yeesh.

Anyways, the swimming continues apace. I haven’t drowned yet, in fact my form is improving somewhat, though frankly I think I’d still make someone who actually knows how to swim cringe and I still feel out of place in the slow lane; this is all thanks to herself, even though she hasn’t gotten out of the habit of swimming two lengths for every one of mine, probably just to show off. The weight refuses to fall off, however, though the shape is somewhat trimmer. Nowhere near where I wish it to be however. I sense a dietary plan in the works. At probably the worst time of year for that sort of thing as well.

The shooting front is not seeing anything like the same degree of success, and frankly Bisley is now in serious question for Feburary. By this time last year I was already well into the training programme: right now, I haven’t trained in months and it shows. Unless there’s a major change in circumstances, I don’t see how I can be even close to being ready in time. If the weight came off, that might compensate for the lack of technical training, but it’d be iffy at best. I did get to shoot a pistol match in WTSC – and even that was down on my PB by 15 points.

The NTSA front is going far better, thankfully. We’re still not meeting briefly and often enough to my mind, but we’re better than we were two years ago. We’ve also started formal meetings with NTSA shooters to see where they want the association to go; a marked improvement, it will be felt – I hope. The main task for the past few weeks though has been the calendar and that’s been as difficult as it always has. The draft for the next 18 months (from Jan2007 that is) has been sent out by email to all the clubs already, and the print version is about to hit the post, several days late thanks to technical hitches. Two weeks have to be allowed for the clubs to go over this draft and then we can post it as the official calendar. The idea is that the first six months will be set in stone so people can plan with confidence as to what weekends they’re at competitions (for the social shooters) and what matches they’ll use in their training plans (for the more competitive shooters); the next six months will be more flexible, but we would discourage people to change stuff willy-nilly; and the final six months are basicly a work in progress. And every six months, we’ll release another six months of the calendar and that way there’s always at least 12 months on the official calendar out ahead of us, which gives incoming committees a bit of shelter from having to immediately sort out a full year’s calendar on taking office.

The website is also getting some spring cleaning, and as soon as the november competitions end, I’m going to update it’s software and tidy up the look of the website and start adding things to it. Right now, that wouldn’t be such a great idea because I tried updating one thing, broke the entire site, and had to restore it from the nightly backups. Whoops. So we’ll wait a while before doing anything that drastic for a while. We may need to sort out more disk space though – the photos alone were way past the amount of disk space that was sane, and I’ve had to take the entire gallery down in order to try to tidy up the rest.

*sigh*

Of course, with all this spare time I thought I’d just do the PRO’s job as well as the Secretary’s this year. Well, sod it, I’ve been sent on the courses, it’d be a shame to waste that and the contacts I made. And there are a list of things we need to have the PRO do anyway, so someone has to do them. The thing now is just to get the routine down so that I actually get them done.

And in a week or two, the DURC squad training starts up again. I’m hoping the seniors will be breaking into the 550-570 region easily enough, and one or two might, if they stop worrying about it so much, actually break out of that region. Either way, it looks good for the air rifle section of the club for the coming year.

And lastly, I’m finally getting some traction on the RCMS project for DURC. The thing with DURC is, they actually do paperwork. Seriously, no joke. The members sign up for a half-hour detail each week on one sheet; the first range officer (there are two) on that night copies these names into the range officer report along with things like how much ammunition was signed out of security, how much float was in the petty cash box, and so on; and then for each and every detail we note who showed up, how many rounds of ammunition were bought and how many were actually fired, what scores were hit, if any of the equipment went wobbly, and so on. Every week the CRO has to go through these RO reports and report to the committee; the A&E officer has to watch the equipment problems and the ammunition levels; and so on and so forth. There’s a lot of work involved, and the system has been positively screaming to be computerised for the past decade. I’ve actually had the system designed for a year and a half, and I’ve even bought some hardware to make it run more simply in practise (a card reader so the members just use their college ID card to swipe in when they come down). All told, it’s an interesting and actually practical project, and I’m enjoying writing it more than I usually do, but it is taking time to get done, and there’s not much of that to go round these days.

Thing is, I continually feel like if I could only sort out my daily routine, I’d be fine, that the time is actually there – and the new job certainly doesn’t make insane demands on my time like the last one did. Now, if they’d just let me do some air rifle training during lunch hour…