This year has started off with me trying to settle in with a new rifle (six months old), new wheelchair and shooting frame that sits on my chair to assist me to compete.
This year has started off with me trying to settle in with a new rifle (six months old), new wheelchair and shooting frame that sits on my chair to assist me to compete. I have settled into my new rifle without too many dramas (shot a new Australian record in November 2013), but wish I could say the same for my new chair.
The new chair is really not comfortable, but I don’t have much choice about it. It can get very challenging trying to adjust to the new chair, then having to set up my equipment, settle down and shoot to put some good scores back on the board!
As a commitment to my shooting career, I decided that I wasn’t going to let these logistical worries get in my way. I thought that if I couldn’t get to the shooting range to train enough, I was going to bring the shooting range to me! The past few months have been exciting; designing a purpose built indoor shooting range in my shed. See the attached pictures for before-and-after images. It looks a treat and is a very convenient, practical way for me to get my scores up.
I only have a carer here for a limited amount of time per day, so if I had to pack up all my gear every day and travel to a rifle range, I wouldn’t get much training in. The range that friends have helped me build is better than any range around, having a world class electronic target machine which Australian International Shooting Limited (AISL) helped me purchase. My range is fully insulated with heating and cooling, although a few finishing-up touches are still pending.
Having good people around to help practice and make the adjustments needed has paid off very well. Anne Bugden, the assistant team coach, has been staying with me to help me train. Having Anne here, combined with a great rifle range that is just outside my front door, makes training so much easier and enjoyable.
Besides the thrill of having my own shooting range, I have also had personal adventures with my new chair – especially the time when I fell forward out of it. There was no one around, and no phone close by – just one of the joys of living alone out on a farm, with nobody to scream out for! I crawled for an hour just to reach my phone, thinking the whole way that I’m lucky to be able to crawl, there are people worse off.
I did eventually make it to my phone, and took a selfie from the floor and sent it to my mate and fellow High Performance squad member Luke Cain, saying, ‘Oops haha’.
I didn’t really want to trouble anyone to come and get me up, so I continued crawling for another hour, pushing my chair as I went. I then dropped the chair off the edge of the verandah, which put the chair at the right height for me to get back into it. I didn’t have much strength left to push the chair off the grass and up the ramp to get back in the house. Oh happy days, life goes on but my shoulders were sore for weeks! I won’t be doing that again anytime soon!
Jason is currently working towards the 2014 IPC Shooting World Championships, which will gather over 250 shooters from nearly 45 countries in the city of Suhl, Germany, from 17-26 July.