So up far too early on a Sunday morning and an hour’s drive to Wilkinstown for the AGM. Bit of a wake-up adrenaline jolt when I opened the wrong door in the hall and walked in on a class of korean sword-fighting. You find the oddest things out in the middle of the countryside these days…

Anyways, first two hours were a run-down on the events since the last AGM. Most of it good, some of it not so good, lots of it scraps with the NTSA. No-one was unduly worried by the latter, happily. There was a fair bit of discussion on training and how we’re going to progress it, the basic plan is to get the seniors and developmental shooters to take a slot each week and train together. Myself and Richard Stapleton Jr. are already signed up for it; others on the list for the seniors include Susan Cunningham, Liam Spillane, and a few other well-known names. This is definitely going to drive up my game 😀

There was much chatter about the Bisley trip. Last year was an excellent success, with medals taken home and PBs shot on the range, though personally I was very disappointed with my score, which was dire. This year, I will be shooting a 575 or higher, so I won’t be feeling so bad afterwards, but last year still rankles. Anyway, last year we had a 19-person team including shooters and support staff and we were pretty sure that that was about as big as it would ever get. *ahem* Whoops. So far, this year, we’re at 27 people and we may still increase on that. Plus, most of the big names are signed up to go, so those medals are coming home with us this time 🙂

As to the rest of the AGM, Matt and Geoff are still in the spots where they do most good (Chairman and Secretary), we’ve a vice-Chair elected to stand in if Matt needs a deputy, our Treasurer, vice-Treasurer, PRO (no, not me, I’m not local so I asked not to be asked – though I’ll be doing the WTSC website and generally helping out with resources and information), the fundraising committee (who are bloody important and are why we are able to look at problems and say “this, this and this, we solve just by buying new gear”, thus leaving us with the core problem to address of how to train people 🙂 Thing is, I don’t understand why we seem to be unique in this. We don’t do anything special, we don’t have some lotto-winner benefactor or something, we do table quizzes and act as car park attendants and pack bags in shopping centres and just do the stuff that GAA clubs and the like do; they don’t bring in nice big cheques for fifty thousand euro or whatever, but add it all together, a hundred euro there, a few euro here, and pretty soon everything’s paid for. There’s no rocket science involved, just hard work. In return, parents see their kids training with the best gear we can get them, they go to international competitions on decent ranges and stay in decent conditions, you see decent prizes at competitions (okay, so we’ve been remiss at the presentation side for a few competitions thanks to manpower shortages, but they’re sitting there awaiting distribution, and the next competition is coming up so they’re going out then), and generally things move along.

There’s a lesson in there, y’know…

Other things, the membership fee was upped from €70 to €120; but the per-use range fee of €3 was abolished. So if you were shooting once a week, you just saved €100; and if you only shot there once or twice a year, you’re now subsidising those that train all the time. (BTW, that €120 includes your insurance which costs €60 seperately normally, so it’s still one of the best deals you’ll see outside the college clubs).

There’s a new rule that says that a serving member of the committee can’t serve on a committee in any other shooting group/body/club/whatever. Idea’s simple; you do one thing at a time and do it well. Plus, this way, you never get a case of a legal conflict of interest (say you’re on the NTSA committee and up comes a decision which benefits everyone greatly except your club, where you’re the secretary or whatever – do you obey your NTSA fiduciary duty to vote for it; or your club’s fiduciary duty to vote against it? Legally, both have equal claim on you).

Geoff was given a presentation then, of a photo of the team that went to Bisley, in recognition of the back-breaking he and Matt and Leslie did on that trip; it goes up on the wall in the pub along with the rest of the club’s history for comment unto the ages 😀

And that was it. No training for me today, I was only able to get through the AGM with the aid of Lemsip again, but by next weekend I hope this flu will be gone and I’ll be training properly again. Several of the others were down in the range as I was leaving, mind, so it’s still full steam ahead on the training plans for the British Open in Febuary 🙂

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