Game Fairs are hugely popular in the UK, particularly the annual CLA Game Fair.
The concept is ‘outdoors’ and anything related. This includes Clay Target Shooting, hunting, fishing, gun dogs, falconry, horses, camping, knife-making, food and leather goods.
The organisation required to host such a wide-ranging show is intensive and complex. Wattlespring Sports Club began planning the event earlier this year and given that they experienced some strategic operational changes, the Wattlespring Game Fair was overall a hugely positive event.
The CTSASA willingly accepted the invitation to get involved with the Game Fair and began marketing the event free of charge as soon as information became available. It was agreed that the CTSASA would have a stand at the event and thus I designed and ordered our very first promotional gazebo, accompanied by branded chairs and teardrop banners.
ENGLISH SPORTING COMPETITION
Wattlespring organised the 100 target English Sporting competition and the CTSASA designed and provided the score sheets, entry form and umpire master sheets. Well done to JJ Symington who won this year’s Game Fair English Sporting!!
There were also several ‘have-a-go’ stands, including a Helice stand (also known as “ZZ”). The Helice equipment was kindly loaned by Ian Grimmbacher of Valley Gun Club, which consisted of five ZZ traps which are specially designed to launch the plastic winged mould which houses a white plastic clay. The ZZ stand proved highly addictive!
FITASC ZZ/HELICE – WATCH THE VIDEO!
Click HERE to watch the video of the ZZ shooting. It is addictive!
The ‘have-a-go’ stands were also very well-attended with an incredible amount of youngsters who were unbelievably eager to have a go. Children as young as 8 were queuing up to try our beautiful sport! Sam Tshishonga and Michele Cicognani were on hand as Range Officers to keep the children safe and to coach newcomers. It was also fabulous to see many ladies shouldering a shotgun and smashing clays!
There were dozens of exhibitors, including GOSA (Gunowners South Africa), gun dogs, hearing protection, leather goods, boere kos, fly fishing, firearm dealers, black powder shooting, clothing, 3 Gun demonstration, and many more. The Wattlespring restaurant was running at full capacity and the atmosphere was really full of fun, good humour and enjoyment. There were also many awesome and beautiful gun dogs at the Game Fair, including one who took a shine to my camera bag and decided to wee on it!! Maybe he could smell my big ginger tom, Viking, and wanted to make his mark?!
We had a very good response to our stand with a number of new shooters coming to sign up plus older shooters coming back to join, along with their children. The children LOVED to see the clays and were fascinated by the different sized sporting clays, along with the ZZ clay/wings. This is a great way to introduce youngsters to safe and responsible firearms ownership. They can see the clays, touch them, understand how they are thrown and then if they are old enough/big enough they can have a go at a few shots. The smiles on their faces were so lovely to see.
Not only was the Game Fair a great way to meet new members, it was also wonderful to at last meet Paul and Lynette Oxley from GOSA who are doing brilliant work in protecting our rights as firearms owners. I had a fantastic discussion with them on the current status of the legislation and I’ll be reporting more on GOSA in the next edition of the Clay News (a hard copy edition to be posted first thing in January 2020).
WATTLESPRING GAME FAIR 2020
The Wattlespring Game Fair has set the scene for a much more varied and exciting event in 2020. The date has been set for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th October 2020 so please put this in your diary now!!
CTSASA Executive Officer
[photo credits : Sarah Kalell]