Sun | Dec 16, 2018

Skeet Shooting: A growing highlight of Jamaican sport

Published:Saturday | July 21, 2018 | 12:00 AMKajamba Fitz-Henley/ Gleaner Writer
Sub-junior Richard Todd (left) collecting his first place award for E Class from Shaun Barnes at the National Shotgun Championship Awards ceremony, which was held last Tuesday at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel.

The 2018 Jamaica Skeet Club (JSC) National Shotgun Championship Awards, held last week Tuesday at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, served to highlight individual accomplishments and establish skeet shooting as a burgeoning sport for Jamaica.

The event featured over 50 awardees across four clay-shooting disciplines. Secretary of the JSC and host for the evening, Jordan Samuda highlighted, "Every single event had more participants than the previous year, which is a true testament to the growth of the sport."

 

NOTEWORTHY ASPECTS

 

The junior and sub-junior competitors were undoubtedly among the most noteworthy aspects of the awards banquet as they took home 55 of the 127 awards that were presented. JSC communications consultant Trudy Williams disclosed that it was far from uncommon for the juniors and sub-juniors to outshine the seniors across the sport's numerous events.

Sub-junior and one of the most outstanding awardees of the night Richard Todd earned himself seven awards, making quite an impressive accomplishment for a two-year shooter at 12 years old.

In accepting his award, he shared his appreciation for the discipline and spirit of the sport, also expressing his drive to achieve even more for the next skeet season. Todd, alongside compatriot skeet shooters such as Zaniel Knight, Roman Tavares-Finson, Zachary Josephs, Mark Desnoes and many others, was honoured not only for shooting skills, but for character.

Despite the sparkling success of the youngsters, the awesome achievements of the senior competitors were not to be ignored. These individuals, who have been the determined purveyors of Jamaican skeet shooting both nationally and internationally, celebrated their well-earned victories with memorable sentiments of gratitude.

Wendy McMaster, National Shotgun Championships (NSC) ladies' champion for yet another year, spoke of the positivity of the sporting competition.

"I developed a lot this year because I think I had to due to the competition I was facing. I started in E Class and realised quickly this wasn't only about shooting against ladies," said McMaster.

Her male counterpart, NSC champion Christian Sasso, revealed the source of his own progress as "a combination of prayer and talent [that] led me to the top". The NSC champ reminded his fellow competitors to "stay focused, never give upp [because] every bird counts" and also framed the collective spirit of the JSC competitors with the lasting statement, "We shoot, we win, we lose, we come back, and we try harder."

Head coach at the JSC and skeet shooter in Jamaica for well over 20 years Khaleel Azan only further emphasised the growth of skeet shooting in our country.

"We have made tremendous progress, leaps and bounds. I never even knew that it would reach to the stage today where we have trained over 150 kids," stated Azan.