Tania Harris and her 14yo son Les take their clay target shooting very seriously, and when they are shooting, there is nothing one likes more than beating the other for bragging rights.
The family shooting team will be competing in different divisions at national championships in Wagga Wagga in New South Wales in October. However, the rivalry between them is fierce in a loving family way.
The ABC reported “Beating Mum [at training] is the most important part for me … if I don’t, I go home sulky,” Les, a junior champion and one of the top shooters for his age in the Northern Territory, said.
“Ms Harris, secretary of the Darwin Clay Target Club, said Les became a keen shooter after he accompanied her to training and previous national titles where she was competing”.
“I didn’t realise until I took up clay target shooting that I was that competitive,” she said.
Ms Harris said training with Les at the club in Marrara had not always been easy.
“I am very organised. I like to be organised 15 minutes before I need to be there and things like that,” she said.
“Les is very much a let’s-just-get-there-when-we-get-there [person].”
Tania and Les have been training hard for the coveted national clay target titles where they will be shooting over 600 clay targets.
“Les said he has been hitting a perfect score more often than his mother”.
Ms Harris said clay target shooting was a sport where you had to be clear headed.
“You’ve got to think of one target at a time,” she said.
“And it definitely isn’t the next target that you’re going to shoot, and it isn’t the target that you may or may not have hit. It’s the one that you’re going to hit right now.”
The NT Clay Target Association, which governs the clubs, says on its website: “Clay target shooting is a sport that can be enjoyed by the whole family, regardless of age or ability.”
“The clay target shooting community is a mix of people of all ages, sexes, abilities and backgrounds,” it says.
Les said he wanted to eventually compete in world championships.
“But first I want to beat Mum,” he said.
“You have to have a lot of confidence and fortitude to be there and to beat everyone.”
We wish them all the best for their upcoming competition and may the best mother or son win.