The grounds at SSAA‚Äôs Shepparton Branch will be alive with the chatter of women‚Äôs voices this April, as the range opens its gates for the inaugural Ladies Come And Try (CAT) Day.
The triple discipline Ladies CAT Day on April 16 will see up to 60 women try .22 rifles, shotgun and pistol shooting free of charge.¬†
Organiser Marion Barnes said, tongue-in-cheek, having more women at the Shepparton Branch would ‚Äúlift the shooting standard‚Äù. But the reason for the Ladies CAT Day goes far deeper than that.¬†
‚ÄúBasically, the future of shooting is dependent on getting juniors involved,‚Äù she said. ‚ÄúWe want to encourage more ladies and mums to try so they also let the kids learn. The ladies who come along will see that it‚Äôs a non-threatening, safe, controlled environment for the kids learn in.‚Äù
While sports shooting has a reputation for being male-dominated, Marion said women could be just as competitive as men; even better.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôve got a very strong attention to detail,‚Äù she said. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre very patient with taking our shot and we just don‚Äôt want the guys to beat us ‚Äì we want to show that we‚Äôre just as good as them.
The day will kick-off at 9.30am, with pistol and rifle the first disciplines for the day. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôll be doing the pistol and the rifle in groups of five,‚Äù Junior Vice President Tony Connell said. ‚ÄúThen we‚Äôll come up to the clubhouse for a barbecue lunch and do the shotgun shooting later.‚Äù
For those who only who want to try the two disciplines, shotgun shooting will be optional.
Big names like Winchester Australia, Beretta Australia and Fowles Wine Avenel, which makes the Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch label, have gotten behind the day, along with local business Northern Victorian Ammo Supplies, OneShot Australia and SSAA Victoria.¬†
The Shepparton Branch will seek support from various sponsors for smaller prizes aimed at the ladies, including massages and manicures.
The event may be all about ladies, but the men have not been forgotten. A five-stand will be set up for men to have a go during the day.¬†
SSAA members are welcome to bring non-members and unlicensed friends to the event, provided they book ahead of time. Bookings can be made through Marion on 0438 522 082 or go to the SSAA website.