JRA shooting for Olympics
Ryon Jones, Gleaner Writer
The Jamaica Rifle Association (JRA) has set its sights on the country, once again gracing the Olympic Games stage in the sport of shooting. Jamaica has not been represented in shooting on such a grand stage since 2004 when Canada-based Dawn Kobayashi participated at the Athens Olympics.
"It is the association's dream that with the aid of sponsors and the ministry, we will return to the Olympic stage," first vice-president of the Jamaica Rifle Association, Bindley Sangster, expressed at the press launch of the inaugural staging of the JRA/NCB 2011 Jamaica Invitational Pistol Tournament, which was held on Tuesday at the University of the West Indies, Mona.
"The inaugural tournament is the first trumpet call for Jamaica to get back to where we used to be," he added.
Sangster believes it is very important for Jamaica to reach the Olympics and conceded that they are haunted by the dream daily.
"The range that we occupy presently at Mountain View was a facility built for the 1966 Commonwealth Games," Sangster disclosed. "We reside in a facility that was built for the Commonwealth Games and it reminds us every day that we have a responsibility to develop the sport of shooting, and the ultimate development of the sport is at the international competitive level," he added.
The inaugural tournament will be held on Saturday, April 30, at the Jamaica Rifle Association range, 148 Mountain View Avenue, and is set to commence at 8 a.m. The event, which is being supported by title sponsor National Commercial Bank and other corporate entities, has attracted over 50 competitors.
The local fraternity of shooters, which includes grand masters Lesgar Murdock and Ronald Brown Jr, will be joined by shooters from overseas including international grand masters Chris Tiley and J.J. Racaza from the United States of America.
The tournament will be in a practical shooting format, which means the participants will be given a scenario and it will be left up to them to shoot the targets in the quickest and most accurate manner, while using the most powerful weapons.
The competition, which will be divided into three categories - production, limited division and open - will feature four groups of competitors: juniors, ladies, law-enforcement officers, and everybody else.
Sangster hopes the tournament can be held annually and become a catalyst to push the sport of shooting forward.
"We want to make the tournament annual and use it as a vehicle to move local shooting forward," Sangster said.
NCB's sponsorship, promotions, marketing, communications and services delivery manager, Julian Patrick, expressed great delight at being on board.
"NCB is proud to partner with the JRA, this is a partnership that represents our commitment to building a better Jamaica through sports," Patrick said.
CAPTION: Bindley Sangster (right), first vice-president of the Jamaica Rifle Association, makes a point to (from left) Weston Campbell, secretary of the Jamaica Rifle Association (JRA); Julian Patrick, National Commercial Bank's (NCB) sponsorship, promotions, marketing, communications and services delivery manager; George Stewart, the 2011 Jamaica Invitational Pistol Tournament meet director, and Lesgar Murdock Jr during the press launch of the inaugural staging of the JRA/NCB 2011 Jamaica Invitational Pistol Tournament, which was held on Wednesday at the Senate Building, University of the West Indies, Mona. - Photo by Ryon Jones