The funny story of getting started in clay target shooting in the early two thousands…
Growing up as a farm boy I have been shooting ever since I can remember. My father, although he never shot competitively is the best shot I know and I’m talking about the days long before telescopes. I don’t think the children these days will know what open sights are.
I knew Oom Dennis van Heerden and I knew he was involved in clay target shooting, but I didn’t know that Maccauw Clay Target Club existed. Oom Dennis always had clay machines and stuff standing around at Free State Metal, one day he said… I cannot repeat it but it came down to: “maak n draai ons skiet die Open die naweek!”. So Sunday morning we went to watch and parked next to the skeet range. By the fourth shot, I said to Nadia, “Am I blind, I can’t see a thing breaking?”. Never saw the clays fly or break until a bit later when I saw the low and high houses, the root of all evil! A week later Oom Flip Stydom and Tibs Tibsirany were coaching me ATA on the Maccauw practice range.
Since then I have never shot for Free State in the Chairman’s Cup where the team has not won a medal. In 2010 I earned CTSASA Merit colours at the DTL World Championship held at Valley Gun Club. We won a team silver medal for Olympic Doubles at the African Games in 2011 in Morocco, the same year I earned my Protea Colours for ATA – most probably the highlight of my shooting, and I love the scale on which the yanks do stuff.
Clay target shooting has given me a lot of opportunities in life; I regret it I only started shooting late in life. Giving back and helping, I ended a 4 year term as chairman of Maccauw Clay Target Club in 2017 with the highlight hosting the FITASC Sporting African Championship in March 2017.
These days the farming business and my twin babies are keeping me a bit busy but I will see you on the range soon.