Competitive vs. Recreational

One of the things that has come up in the aftermath of the Colours loss is the question of where the squad goes from here. That’s led in turn to a degree of soul-searching being needed by the squad members. It’s not an easy task. The problem is that there are different parts in this sport that suit different people; some go for the purely recreational and in fact they often get more of a kick out of other disciplines than 10m Air Rifle. Others, like me, get off on the challange of competitive shooting and training.

First of all, let’s set one thing to rest. There’s no ranking between the two. One is not better than another, except in your own personal viewpoint (and if there wasn’t a ranking in your personal viewpoint, you wouldn’t know which one you wanted to do). And you don’t get more fun from one than you do from the other because of some intrinsic quality of the approaches; you get more fun from one than the other because of some intrinsic part of your psychological makeup. Often you need to try both to figure out what you want. Over the past fourteen years, I’ve done the recreational side of things. I’ve shot rifle, pistol and shotgun, at ranges from six yards to a hundred yards and everything in between. I’ve plinked, I’ve shot competitively, I’ve done admin, I’ve trained and coached and scored and run matches and run clubs and run associations and done pretty much everything there is to do in this sport. And I’ve learnt that it’s the competition in the olympic disciplines that pushes my buttons. I’ve also learnt that I can live with the idea of it not pushing the buttons of others without any effort whatsoever – so long as they don’t slow down or impede the stuff I want to do, at which point I can’t live with it at all and get very out of joint about it.

So the squad are now in a place that all of us in this sport find ourselves at some point. They have to chose whether they want to push themselves as far as they can in this sport or if they want to push themselves in some other avenue and just plink away in this one.

It’s not an easy choice.

And it’s not meant to be.

Those who would say “oh, this is easy, everyone’s doing fine, no problems here, let’s just have fun” are just blowing smoke up people’s rear ends, and frankly that does more harm than good. There are competitive people in collegiate sports. We see them every day. And we need to give them an avenue to go down in our sport or they go elsewhere. Equally, there has to be room for those who genuinely don’t want that, but do want to have fun.

At any rate, the course for the squad is clear enough. Those that want to shoot just for fun and put their back into their studies or other sports, there really is no stigma there. They’re the majority in the club to begin with, and more to the point, you can compete in this sport until your late seventies – you only get a short time to do well in college, so it may be the sensible thing to do.

But for those that want it, those that feel that burn that keeps pushing them back to the range to train that bit harder, that need to beat their last score, that urge to know that they’ve just put their all into a match and that they couldn’t have done any better – for them, there’ll be a path to go down as well and we’ll be there to help them along it. It won’t be sunshine and roses and smoke-filled colons along the way; but for the ones who want it, they wouldn’t have it any other way. And one day you’ll be reading about them in the newspapers.

Colours Results

From the NTSA website:

Colours 2007 Results Contributed by Collegiate Officer

Sunday, 04 March 2007

The Results are in….

The 2007 Colours Event between UCD and Trinity College Dublin was held yesterday, March 3rd, in Wilkinstown Target Shooting Club.

After a six year drought, UCDRC have finally reclaimed the Overall prize. In a closely fought match, just 61 points out of a possible 4200 available separated the teams in the end. DURC didn’t go home empty handed though – they managed to retain the Novice Trophy, beating UCD by just 11 points out of the 2400 on offer!

With over 30 Competitors taking part, details started at 10am, and ran right through until 21.45. All logistics and statistics ran smoothly on the day, due to the trojan work put in by the ROs from both sides. Special thanks to all who helped in this respect – Mark, Anthony, Iain, Brian, Chris, Brendan, Ross, Ciara, Mike, Aidan and Andy (Hope I left no one out!).

Of course, the high standard shown by both teams would never have been reached without the enormous effort put in by both the shooters and the coaches. Neither Club could really thank the coaches involved enough – Geoff Cooney, Mark Dennehy, Gerry Power and Dave Cooney. Geoff Cooney must also be thanked for being the fantastic host he always is.

However, the season has not quite finished yet for the College shooters – roll on the Nationals…..

TCD Score Place
SNR Team Total 1541 2nd
JNR Team Total 1964 1st
Trinity Team Total 3505 2nd
UCD Score Place
SNR Team Total 1613 1st
JNR Team Total 1953 2nd
UCD Team Total 3566 1st

Colours Match 2007
Overall Results
Shooter Club 10-shot Series Total
1 2 3 4 5 6
Lyons Emma UCDRC 93 95 94 96 89 95 562
Nash Iain DURC 89 91 95 91 95 90 551
McEllistrem Brian UCDRC 84 87 87 93 89 93 533
Dunne Mike DURC 83 89 88 85 88 87 520
Raval Raj UCDRC 86 84 89 90 85 84 518
Clancy Cathal UCDRC 83 86 87 88 90 78 512
Cunningham Ross DURC 85 86 80 85 83 84 503
Mollett Eleanor DURC 84 82 81 85 80 89 501
McQuaid Tommy DURC 80* 84 83 81 90 83 501
Kavanagh Alan DURC 80 87 83 88 82 79 499
McGinty Catherine DURC 85 87 82 78 74 91 497
Lawlor Ben DURC 81 83 85 73 84 82 488
Speaker Ben UCDRC 79 80 80 80 83 82 484
Feeney Seamus DURC 80 82 78 87 78 79 484
Baconin Thomas UCDRC 81 75 84 81 77 81 479
Donoghue David DURC 73 81 79 80 83 82 478
D’Ambrose Mike UCDRC 83 82 85 76 77 75 478
Fogarty Laura DURC 64 87 86 82 79 78 476
McGrath Paul DURC 69 81 75 81 76 88 470
Farrell James DURC 81 79 77 68 77 79 461
Lyczak Dominique DURC 86 75 78 76 66 79 460
Lawlor Catriona DURC 77 83 70 68 76 78 452
Ward Bernard DURC 71 71 69 67 83 71 432
van Hooij Maarten DURC 71 76 71 62 70 70 420
Daly Sean DURC 59 68 66 78 73 75 419
Laing Emma DURC 69 75 68 61 70 73 416
Collison Orlagh DURC 70 64 68 59 74 63 398
Doorley Tarlach DURC 56 60 65 62 75 72 390
Clarke Cian DURC 58* 76 60 54 66 43 357
Longworth Nicholas DURC 50 56 60 62 60 59 347
Walsh Richie DURC 60 54 67 49 54 42 326
Dunne Laura DURC 59* 56 55 65 74 68 318

Colours Squadding change

Minor changes to the squadding for the Colours match.

Yes, yes, I know, it’s stupid to be announcing this kind of thing this close to the match, let alone changing it. It’s not like I’m happy with it…


Detail FP Rifle Jacket Trousers Boots Shooter
1 (1000) 1 S B1 L3 Brown/Tan Large Alan Kavanagh

2 V I/P L2 none Mike Dunne

3 R 24 Harlequin Black/Gray Dominique Lyczak




2 (1200) 1 Baby 24 L1 Brown/Tan Small Catherine McGinty

2 S B1 L3 Black/Gray Emma Laing

3 V P L2 Brown Large Tarlach Doorley




3 (1400) 1 V 22 Harlequin none Richie Walsh

2 Q Y none none Nicholas Longworth

3 Baby 17 none Brown/Tan Small Orlagh Collison

4 S B1 L3 Black/Gray Laura Fogarty

5 R 18 none none Bernard Ward

6 603
Green/Blue Brown Large Iain Nash

4 (1600) 1 Baby M L2 Black/Gray Eleanor Mollett

2 Q 26 Green/Blue none David Donoghue

3 V B1 L3 Brown/Tan Large Cian Clarke

4 T Y none none Andrew Chatalov

5 S M L1 none Catriona Lawlor


5 (1800) 1 Baby 10 none none Laura Dunne

2 V P L3 Brown Large Paul McGrath

3 603 I Green/Blue none Tommy McQuaid

4 Q B1 L1 none Ben Lawlor

5 S 20 none Brown/Tan Large James Farrell

6 UCD (Emma Lyons)

6 (2000) 1 V I Harlequin none Sean Daly

2 Q B1 Green/Blue Brown Large Seamus Feeney

3 R 26 L1 Brown Large Maarten van Hooij

4 S P L3 none Ross Cunningham



Colours Match Details

The email sent to the Colours Squad today…

Okay folks, here are the squaddings and logistics details for the Colours match this weekend. Only one gear conflict in all (sorry Andrew!) so I’m officially surprised. Everyone check your gear on this list and make sure it’s right!

Detail FP Rifle Jacket Trousers Boots Shooter
1 (0900) 1 603 Green/Blue Brown Large Iain Nash
  2 S B1 L3 Brown/Tan Large Alan Kavanagh
  3 V I/P L2 none Mike Dunne
  4 R 24 Harlequin Black/Gray Dominique Lyczak
  5 UCD  
2 (1100) 1 Baby 24 L1 Brown/Tan Small Catherine McGinty
  2 R 18 none none Bernard Ward
  3 S 20 none Brown/Tan Large James Farrell
  4 V P L2 Brown Large Tarlach Doorley
  5 UCD  
3 (1300) 1 V 22 Harlequin none Richie Walsh
  2 Q Y none none Nicholas Longworth
  3 Baby 17 none Brown/Tan Small Orlagh Collison
  4 S P L3 none Ross Cunningham
  5 UCD  
4 (1500) 1 Baby M L2 Black/Gray Eleanor Mollett
  2 Q 26 Green/Blue none David Donoghue
  3 V B1 L3 Brown/Tan Large Cian Clarke
  4 T Y none none Andrew Chatalov
  5 UCD  
5 (1700) 1 Baby 10 none none Laura Dunne
  2 V P L3 Brown Large Paul McGrath
  3 603 I Green/Blue none Tommy McQuaid
  4 Q B1 L1 none Ben Lawlor
  5 UCD  
6 (1900) 1 V I Harlequin none Sean Daly
  2 Q B1 Green/Blue Brown Large Seamus Feeney
  3 R 26 L1 Brown Large Maarten van Hooij
  4 S P L3 Black/Gray Laura Fogarty
7 (2100) 1 V B1 L3 Black/Gray Emma Laing
  2 Q Black1 none none Elaine Clotworthy
  3 S M L1 none Catriona Lawlor

Note that if you’re on the last detail, we may try to move you to an earlier one if space becomes free, just so that we get finished faster!

Now, other stuff:

Plans are as follows. We’re meeting up on the range tonight at 1800 to pack gear and ensure that everything we need goes to Wilkinstown. I’m driving the gear out there tonight so it’s waiting for us when we get there tomorrow.

Then you are all to go home directly and get a good night’s sleep. No partying. No alcohol. I know, I know, but it’s the last time for a while, and you’ll make up for it tomorrow night!

The next morning, we’re all to meet at the DURC Range in college at 0730.

Bring your headband, your earplugs, your shooting diary. Check your equipment checklist in your shooting diary the night before, and it wouldn’t hurt to review what you’ve written in there the night before as well.  You will be reviewing it before you shoot the next day too, but if you only check it then, you’ll feel a right plonker when you read that there’s something you do the day before that makes stuff work really well.

We’ve a chartered bus taking everyone out to Wilkinstown from college. Some of you are making your own way there – we’ll see you guys at the range, just be sure to be there at a bare minimum, half an hour before your detail. At least one of you is getting picked up on the way – Richie, make sure you send your mobile number to Iain so he can get the bus to stop to pick you up! – and if anyone else is on the N3 route out to Wilkinstown, sing out now and we’ll try to arrange the same setup for you.

If anyone misses the bus, the emergency fallback is the 109 bus out to Navan from Busaras. When you get there, call me or Iain on our mobiles and we’ll dispatch someone to come collect you from the bus stop in Navan.

Some of you have to leave early on the day; again, the 109 is our friend. We’ll drive people to the bus stop and they’ll be back in Busaras in about an hour.

The Range.
All of you remember what the range looks like, right? Those with poor memories, the website is here:
Wilkinstown Target Shooting Club

Food & Drink.
We usually order in a takeaway meal for dinner, and we also usually make a run to the petrol station down the road for breakfast rolls and the like in the morning after we get there. Those of you on the first detail though, get a good breakfast before going to the range in college because you won’t have time to eat before you shoot! Those of you on later details, make sure you eat at least an hour before you go and shoot, but no more than four hours beforehand. I don’t want to see anyone collapsing on the firing range this year because of low blood sugar because they forgot to eat. Bring some fruit to the range to snack on when shooting in case you get hungry – bananas are excellent, so are raisins. Jaffa cakes are a passable substitute if you have one or two, they’re not so good if you eat the pack. Stay away from chocolate or anything with caffeine in it until after the shoot.

Don’t forget bottled water. You’ll dehydrate faster on the WTSC range than any other because of the gas heating; you need to be drinking almost continually throughout the match, a slug of water every three or four shots. I want to see people drinking it all throughout the match. I want people well hydrated so their eyes work!

The Match.
When you get your targets, count them. Just in case someone miscounted. You should have 60 competition cards and 4 sighters (marked by a black strip in a corner).

When you put your targets into the holders, 1) ensure you have a backing card (a pistol target will do), and 2) ensure you put them in the same way every time so the group diagrams make sense at the end. There’s usually a logo on the target; put that at the bottom every time.

The colours is an odd event in one respect; you don’t get to know who’s on the DURC team. So the individual scores will be published, and the overall team scores as well, but only the two captains ever know who was on the teams. Just so you know.

Right, well first off, no entry fee. The bus costs €15 a head and the hostel €20; but the club is subsidising that so you’re paying a grand total of €16 if you’re staying overnight and €5 for the bus if you’re not staying. If you’re coming on your own to the range and not staying over, obviously it’s free. Bring some extra money though, since it’s a bit of a party after the colours with the consumption of refreshing beverages and such.

And Finally…
Remember, no drinking the night before, and plenty of sleep.

Okay, if you have any questions, just ask away. See you tonight…

ps. Don’t forget as well that we have a meeting in the range at 1800 on Monday after the colours (March 5) to talk about where we go from here with the squad – there are other matches coming up after the colours, including the National Championships. We’ll get together, lay out what’s coming up and what’s involved in training for it, find out who’s interested, and go from there. This is for both the Novice and the Senior squad, by the way.

Irish Sports Council Carding Announcement

From the NTSA website:

Irish Sports Council Carding Announcement
Written by Mark Dennehy
Thursday, 01 March 2007

The Irish Sports Council has announced the Carding Grant allocations for 2007. Four junior athletes in the NTSA have successfully qualified for carding, receiving €12000 in total to assist in their preparation, training and participation in National and International matches.

We would like to thank everyone concerned with this process for their contributions, which will enable these junior athletes to progress to higher levels of achievement in the sport, and we wish to congratulate Damien, Susan, Paula and Elizabeth on the hard work it has taken from them to qualify for these grants.

Not bad guys, not bad at all. That should help cover a match or two.

For those that don’t know, the NTSA is the least-well-funded Olympic National Governing Body in the state, so these carding grants which go directly to the athlete to cover training and other costs are vital and necessary. They’re also not easy enough to get – right now they act more as a reward for hard training than as a support to aid further training. However, it’s about €3000 better than nothing…

Last day of training for the squad!

Well, before the Colours at least. So that’s it, four months of training done and dusted. And all of them are set to shoot well on Saturday. I’m expecting several scores above 500, and personal bests from all of them.

The training itself went quite well in some respects, but we can improve on it yet again for next year. I’m already making notes on ways to do that. That’s the great thing about coaching the squad – every year, new faces who’ve not had years of bad coaching ideas pushed into their heads, so you can start training them right away instead of having to break through bad training first.

So now, we just meet up on Friday at 1800 on the range to pack gear away, I drive it out to WTSC that night, then it’s back to the range for 0730 on Saturday morning to get everyone on the bus and try to get away as fast as possible, and start shooting at 0900 out in WTSC. And then we shoot, and we shoot, and we shoot. So far, it looks like six full details – that’s 12 hours of shooting all told. Haven’t seen that in far too long 🙂 It’s going to be great!