Bay welcomes its first local air rifle club

2018-03-07 06:02
Pictured here are the participants of the Battle of the Regions HFT competition that took place in George in April last year. PEARC shooter Craig Moss won the competition after only two practice rounds.                                                Photo:SUPPLIED

Pictured here are the participants of the Battle of the Regions HFT competition that took place in George in April last year. PEARC shooter Craig Moss won the competition after only two practice rounds. Photo:SUPPLIED

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IT has been a number of years since the Firearms Act of South Africa has relaxed enough that licensing air rifles is no longer necessary.

This has resulted in the formation of a number of South African clubs that cater for those who enjoy the different sporting disciplines of air rifle shooting.

However, Port Elizabeth was left in the dust without an official air rifle club until 2016.

February 28, 2016, marked the first get-together of a few enthusiasts who shared a common interest in rifle shooting and so, the PE Air Rifle Club (PEARC) was born.

The club aims at catering for all walks of life and anyone is welcome to join in and enjoy their activities.

PEARC currently consists of a four-member committee and about 20 active members.

Though they have a dedicated shooting range in Westlands Road, the necessary infrastructure and facilities needed for a fully functional air rifle club is still a work in progress.

“As the membership and participation grows, the future for the PEARC holds a lot of promise,” said Rion Barnard, a member of the PEARC committee. The PEARC members have a keen interest in the various styles or disciplines of air rifle shooting, with specific focus on the hunter field target (HFT), bench rest and bell target disciplines.

PEARC is not currently affiliated with any of the current nationally registered administrative bodies that represent the official sporting air rifle disciplines in South Africa, but as the interest in especially HFT competitions grows locally, it is likely that the club will host national events in the future.

“HFT has really taken off in the Western Cape and is rapidly growing in the Eastern Cape and Gauteng as well. Earlier this year saw a well-attended Battle of the Regions HFT event that was hosted by the George Sports Shooting Club.

“Competitors representing Cape Town, George and Port Elizabeth competed with the newbies in HFT, which PEARC shooter Craig Moss won, despite the fact that PEARC only had two practice round competitions before heading off to George,” Barnard said.

PEARC encouraged all interested parties to visit the club’s range and enjoy the growing sport of modern air rifle shooting in all its forms.

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