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News posted on Monday 3rd July, 2023

A sport for all: give Shooting Para sport a try!

a long line of athletes take aim at lit targets across a room. Most are in wheelchairs and a couple are standing.

Shooting Para sport is the sport of shooting for Para athletes who have a physical impairment leading to reduced function in the lower and/or upper limbs. It is one of the most inclusive and accessible sports in the world, as it allows people of different abilities and backgrounds to compete on equal terms.

A long and proud history

Shooting Para sport has a long and proud history in New Zealand. This dates back to the Arnhem 1980 Paralympic Games, where Dave Tarrant won a bronze medal in the Mixed Air Pistol 2-5. Since then, New Zealand has produced several world-class shooters, such as Colin Willis MNZM and Michael Johnson MNZM. Both Colin and Michael have represented New Zealand at five Paralympic Games. Michael is New Zealand’s most decorated Paralympian shooter, having won medals at three Paralympic Games, including a gold and two bronzes. He is still an active competitor and in 2022 took up the role of PNZ Shooting Para Sport Lead, managing the high performance programme in New Zealand.

How does Shooting Para sport work?

The sport offers a range of events for different sport classes and disciplines, such as rifle and pistol events from distances of 10m, 25m and 50m. Depending on the event and the sport class, athletes compete in a kneeling position, standing (or in a wheelchair or on a shooting seat, when they are unable to stand) or prone (athletes in a wheelchair can use an elbow support table).

To compete requires a high level of concentration, accuracy and mental strength, as well as physical skills and endurance. In competitions that may last around an hour, athletes must place a series of shots as close as possible to the centre of the target. The scoring system is based on decimal points, with a maximum score of 10.9 for each shot.

Why try Shooting Para sport?

This is a great sport to do in New Zealand because it offers many benefits and opportunities for Para athletes. Some of these are:

  • Shooting is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities, regardless of their impairment or level of experience.
  • It is a sport that can be practiced all year round, indoors or outdoors, in various locations across the country.
  • It is a sport that fosters camaraderie, friendship and respect among athletes, coaches and officials.
  • It is a sport that provides a platform for personal development, achievement and recognition.
  • It is a sport that opens up pathways to national and international competitions, such as the Paralympic Games, the World Shooting Para Sport Championships and various Grand Prix events around the world.

Try it out

If you are interested in trying out Shooting Para sport or finding out more about it, you can register with Paralympics New Zealand today. Paralympics New Zealand is the National Paralympic Committee for New Zealand and the organisation responsible for supporting and developing Para sport in the country. They can help you find a local club or coach, provide you with equipment and training advice, and connect you with other Para athletes.

Shooting Para sport is a great sport to do in New Zealand because it is fun, challenging and rewarding. Whether you want to shoot for fun, fitness or glory, you will find a welcoming and supportive community that will help you achieve your goals. So what are you waiting for? Join the Shooting Para sport family today!

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