Shooters in the zone for big clay target carnival

THE Grafton Clay Target Club (GCTC) is a small club of dedicated shooters on the outskirts of Grafton, but come March next year, the club will become the centre of attention for clay target shooters across the State.

The GCTC is expecting close to 100 shooters to swarm towards the club after it was recently awarded the right to host the Northern Zone Clay Target Association (NZCTA) Trap Carnival next year.

It has been 13 years since the carnival has been held on the higher North Coast and club secretary Rus Wesslink said he was 'ecstatic' the club was able to bring the event to the Clarence Valley.

“We are just a small band of clay shooters who really enjoy our sport,” he said. “In view of all the work we have done at the club we are just ecstatic. We've begun preparations already.”

The club competed against three other clubs for the hosting rights of the two-day carnival, but the sentimental favourites were never in danger of losing the 2010 event.

“All the other clubs interested withdrew because they said they would like to see Grafton hold the event,” Wesslink said.

“The local clubs know how important the event is.”

NZCTA covers a vast area which includes the southern Newcastle/Hunter region, west to the Tablelands and as far north as Tyagarah and Weslink said it was common for shooters to regularly visit each others clubs.

“At our normal meets we have visitors from clubs such as Coffs Harbour and Lismore,” he said.

“At our larger events we get people from interstate. It's a great way to promote the club and the area.”

Wesslink said the club, as well as the region, would reap the benefits of the carnival visiting the Clarence Valley.

“It is quite a large event with all the competitors and their families we could see around 500 people visit the area,” he said.

“We will have shooters from inside the zone and outside the zone here.”

The carnival will also act as a selection process for the Northern Zone team which will compete at the NSW Clay Target Championships.

“At our larger events we get people from interstate.”



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