GB Junior International 2007

Long time since posting here last, but it’s not been idle time. We’ve just spent the last year concluding a review of the NTSA’s internal structures and processes and we’re writing them up as we speak. Expect announcements before the NTSA AGM (September 8 this year). Work and other stuff has kept my head held well underwater for the last while so things I didn’t want to see delayed have been, but on the other hand, we’ve had some happy successes as well (like the TV coverage of the 50m Nationals) so it’s not all bad.

However, all that’s for future posts. Right now, the immediate concern is the GB Jr Intl match that’s coming up. For those who’ve not heard of it, here’s the blurb from its website:

15th Junior International Match, Bisley, August 2007

On 6th to 9th August 2007 the G.B. Junior Squad will be hosting its 15th International Match at Bisley.

Match Programme
The programme includes matches in ISSF Rifle (prone, 3 positions and air rifle), Sporter Air Rifle (Sporter standing and 3×20, and Precision 3×20) and Air Pistol (ISSF 10 metre). The pistol programme also includes a Sport Pistol course at 25 metres shot with air pistols (.22 cartridge pistols being prohibited in the England).

Further information, including the provisional programme, can be seen in the copy of the Match Invitation.

In 2006 the match attracted almost 140 entries from Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland, Denmark, the United States of America, South Africa and the County of Oldenburg in north-west Germany.

For 2007 expectations are that the entry will increase to well over 150, shooting organisations in South Africa having already indicated that SATRA, SAARA, SANSSU and Mpumalanga Province would like between them to bring in excess of 60 junior shooters.

The International Match will take place in the Lord Roberts Centre, which is fully-equipped with Sius-Ascor electronic targets. This ultra-modern range complex (built for the Commonwealth Games 2002), is part of the world-famous Bisley Camp – the home of all forms of target shooting in Britain. The Camp is an historic area in leafy Surrey, featuring many original Victorian clubhouses in a village-style community, surrounded by shooting ranges up to 1,200 yards long.

We’ve attended this match for several years now, and this year’s my year in the hot seat as Team Manager. As you can imagine, this is a highly-paid job which carries a lot of power and respect and there’s lots of competition to be appointed as Team Manager.

Right, did even one of you believe that? You did? Excellent, you’re team manager next year. I have your “What the hell have I done?” T-shirt being printed as we speak.

Seriously, we should change the title to Team Dogsbody and be more honest about our job descriptions. Logistics (meaning selection shoots, equipment checks, equipment packing, team photographs & PR, flights, car rental, accomodation, food and laundry) takes up enormous amounts of time before you even get close to the matches themselves. And being the person ultimately responsible for the arrangements for people is a bit on the stressful side to begin with…

Anyway. Happily, I have a fair few helpers at the moment. Geoff (our team coach) handled tracksuits and is driving the gear over to the UK with Matt (the Wilkinstown shooters’ coach); and the NSRA staff in the UK have done trojan work with accomodations and so on. Sadly, we didn’t get where we’d hoped we’d get (Canada house or St. Georges’ Lodge), because we’re squeezed in between Bisley Week and a Harley-Davidson convention (no, seriously. Not kidding). But we’re in the ATSC, where the rest of the NSRA staff are staying, we have breakfasts laid on, our itenary is shaping up very fast, I’ve got my laptop and camera and mobile broadband so we can keep the websites updated during the competition, and we’ll be fully organised before we go.

Okay, did you believe that one? 😀

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