Simon Alexander Grant
Born 13-10-1963 Died 13-7-2006
After narrowly missing selection for the 2004 Athens Paralympics, Simon was stoked to be named in the New Zealand Shooting Team to compete in the Padua Cup in Padova, Italy, and the World Paralympic Shooting Championships in Switzerland in 2006. His humble pride at being selected to represent his country, was only surpassed by his enthusiasm for the forthcoming event. Simon performed nervously, but well, at the Padua Cup and was primed for a good performance at the World Cup. On the way to a training venue on the day of the opening ceremony, the car in which Simon was travelling collided with a bus near the town of Sargans. Simon died in the collision. He was 42 years of age.
Born in Central Southland, Simon was a legend in the Southland target shooting community. Afflicted with cerebral palsy, Simon had poor coordination of his arms and legs, and in his later years was in almost constant pain. His shooting success was achieved through sheer determination. For Simon, getting into the prone position was difficult, and getting up after the match was even worse. Nothing stopped Simon. Obstacles were made to be overcome !
Simon started shooting at the Oreti Plains Rifle Club, and he delighted in telling anecdotes about road trips to shooting events with fellow Club members, not many of which could be printed here. Simon was no angel, but he was a lot of fun.
Simon made a career in the finance/banking sector, and moved to Wellington in the early 1990’s. At the time of his team selection he was an assistant sector manager with ANZ Bank.
He joined the Wellington Smallbore Rifle Club and became involved in local and national administration where his financial expertise was of immense value. He was a member of the TSNZ Executive and was helping to reorganise the TSNZ financial systems.
Simon was one of those people who was liked instantly upon meeting. He had a wicked sense of humour and lived for the day. Simon put every effort possible into all that he did. He was an inspiration …… and a totally good bloke.
The Simon Grant Award was founded by his parents to reward young shooters for effort and consistency around the Southland Circuit Championships.
PETER JONES, 27 October 2016 (Marlborough Express "STUFF")
Regan Cowe is the smallbore shooting nominee for the 2016 Marlborough Sports Awards.
Selection in the New Zealand Open team, plus a number of top performances over the past year, have seen the ever-consistent Cowe get the nod.
In September 2015 he claimed the master grade title in the Marlborough Champion of Champions match. His other wins include master grade at the South Island championships, master and open grade at the Ellesmere championship, master and open grade at the Marlborough closed championship, as well as top scoring in the annual DB Seddon Shield match against Nelson.
These performances saw him selected to represent the South Island against the North Island in the annual inter-Island match in Rangiora during August. His efforts there earned him selection in the New Zealand Open team which shot a postal match against English Home Counties.
As well as being a top competitor, Cowe is a dedicated administrator, serving as Secretary of the South Island Target Shooting Association, and an executive member of Target Shooting New Zealand.
His nomination is sponsored by Marisco Vineyards.
Regan Cowe at home on the range
SAM KILMISTER, October 24 2016 (Manawatu Standard "Stuff")
A little family rivalry is what keeps three siblings pushing further up the New Zealand competitive smallbore shooting ranks.
Sarah, Meaghan and David Reesby have only been practising the sport for three years, but eldest sister Sarah has already made herself at home in the junior New Zealand development team.
The three grew up on a dairy farm in Glen Oroua. They compete together, representing Feilding High School and Manawatu, and recently came fifth out of 19 teams at the New Zealand secondary schools shoot in Blenheim.
While Sarah, 17, is in a grade above her siblings, David, 16, and Meaghan, 14, will soon be competing in the same grade against each other.
Murray (Wilson/ Fairfax NZ) Sarah, David and Meaghan Reesby compete alongside each other in smallbore rifle shooting
"Next year is going to be interesting. It should be fun being in the same grade," David said. "It's always great when you win by a point or a really close margin over each other," Meaghan said. "It makes it that much better."
Mother Sandra Reesby has enjoyed following her children, and at times has had to play the calming influence. "The discussions in the car ride home from shoots are always interesting, but being in competition with each other keeps them all on their toes. It's a good thing really. It gives them something to focus on and it requires them to have a lot of discipline and self control."
The trio have their sights set on next year's national secondary schools shoot, which is being held in their home range in Palmerston North. It's on our home turf and we really want to take it out. We're used to it, it's our club range and it's a good range," David said. "Every range is different," Meaghan said. "It will be easier because we'll know everything about the range, like how the lighting will play and we won't have to adjust the sights too much."
David said the most surprising thing about smallbore shooting was having to maintain a balanced diet. "You can't eat too much sugar or things like chocolate biscuits before shooting. It makes you a bit jumpy when looking down the sights and its difficult to settle."
Sarah's achievements over the last 12 months were recognised when she was nominated for the 2016 Manawatu sportsperson of the year. "I like to keep trying my best, turning up and competing in as many competitions as I can."
Summer O'Dwyer took up smallbore shooting last year because she liked the look of a badge a friend had won.
Now, at the end of her second year of competition, she is the New Zealand Secondary Schools Shooting champion and has shot for New Zealand against the British Secondary Schools team.
It has been quite the rise for the year 13 Samuel Marsden Collegiate School student, who said conventional sports were never really her thing.
"I am completely uncoordinated. I love trying sports, but I would probably break my ankle if I tried to do soccer or something like that.
"I got into shooting because my friend was doing it when I first moved down to Wellington last year and I really liked the badge she got from the inter-island shoot so I thought I might have a go to see if I could get the badge, then I found I had a bit of a flair for it."
She quickly progressed from the D-grade (average score of up to 89.99) to B-grade (94.00-96.49) and won the secondary schools title.
ROBERT KITCHIN/FAIRFAX NZ
Summer O'Dwyer from Samuel Marsden Collegiate won the New Zealand Secondary Schools Shooting competition.
For those who don't follow shooting, competitors shoot what is called a "card". Each card has either 10 or 20 targets on it. A bullseye is worth 10.1, so the maximum score for a 10-shot is 100.10. O'Dwyer said part of the lure of shooting was the constant pursuit of perfection. She has shot two 100.09s.
"I'm still striving for it and I'm very goal-orientated so it works for me. I shot 100.09 last Sunday [October 9] and it was such a great shoot. I got a 10 for the first shot and then 10.1s after that. With shooting it's more about you personal best than anything, the only person you have to beat is yourself, which is what I quite like about it. It's time that I can relax, you're just focusing on one thing and you know what you've got to do, you've just got to go ahead and do it."
The mental challenge of shooting was something a lot of people might take for granted, O'Dwyer said. "You're constantly fighting against yourself, constantly trying to relax yourself. You can't get pumped like any of the other sports because that's about the worst thing you could do. You've got to really try and find that zen kind of thing."
The secondary schools championship took place over three 10-shot rounds and one 20-shot round, with shooters completing the cards at their own clubs.
O'Dwyer scored 491.24, beating Ashburton College's Lanelle Miller-McArthur by 1.04, with A-grade Awatapu College shooter Jess Burgess-Smith 0.1 back in third. O'Dwyer then took part in the inter-island secondary schools shoot - the competition which first spawned her interest in the sport - at the start of October in Blenheim.
It is a unique event as it brings together all the shooters in one place at the same time, rather than shooting at their own club. The competition saw outstanding results for both Samuel Marsden and Wellington College, who came fourth and second respectively out of the 19 schools who participated. O'Dwyer was joined by Luisa Kristen and Georgia Karantze in the Samuel Marsden team, while Wellington College's Wiko du Toit, Oscar Robinson and Amalamo Simi produced an astounding shoot considering all three are in their first year of shooting.
After the first three rounds, five of the six Wellington shooters were selected for the North Island team, which went on to beat the South Island by 11 points. Du Toit was the third highest shooter with 488.23 from five 10-shot cards across the school and inter-island competition. His team-mates both recorded personal bests at the competition. Du Toit, O'Dywer and Robinson made the New Zealand team as a result, going on to shoot two 10-shot cards. O'Dwyer was top shot for New Zealand with 198.
The 12 shooters scored 1944, which the British team will try to beat when they shoot next year.
O'Dwyer said the shoot in Blenheim had been one of the best she had been part of. "We all supported each other, which is really nice, especially when you get on really well with everyone. It just makes it so much easier. They [Wellington College] did so well and then two of their shooters made the New Zealand team, it was pretty awesome."
Mike Long has had experience with shooting and firearms in many different ways.
Eventually ending up in Smallbore, he joined the Rongotea Club in Manawatu in 2013, and was a very keen competitor in local Champs. Mike’s business, Altus Unmanned Aerial Solutions – drones, to the rest of us - has seen him recently move to Hamilton and he is now enjoying shooting there too.
The statement that follows was the one provided by Mike to include with the TSNZ Ballot papers, but as there is no need for a ballot for his position, we felt putting it up here was a great way to introduce him to our TSNZ members.
Michael Long - Shooting history and statement
I began shooting at around age 4 with an older brother getting me to shoot tin cans off the back fence and then continued shooting while growing up on farms and eventually getting involved in target shooting around age 13 with the local Air Training Corps using Lee Enfield No8 rifles cut-down to .22. For the next few years I participated in a substantial number of regional and national ATC shooting competitions and eventually went on a representative trip to Western Samoa for friendly competition shoots against various teams there. During this time, I found that I had a real passion for the intricacies of target shooting both physically and mentally and began to look for further challenges. In my last few years of College, Tauranga Boy’s College started up a school shooting team which I quickly joined and started to learn about true competitive Smallbore Target Shooting. I eventually captained the school team and received the school sports colour in 1993 for Shooting.
In 1994 I joined the RNZAF and due to time and training constraints switched my focus to shooting in a Military context. In around 2004 I participated in the Queens Medal Competition, placing 4th at the time over a 2-day shoot covering multiple disciplines. In 2007 I shifted my career to the NZ Army as part of their simulation team and assisted in standing up the Weapons Training Simulation facility which comprised of 24 lanes of electronic weapons training, enabling soldiers to fine tune their shooting skills, and assisted in educating various senior Army shooting coaches in how to most effectively use the system to improve the performance of their soldiers shooting (and as a happy by-product refined my own shooting technique).
In 2013 I found myself in a situation where I had the time to re-pursue Smallbore. After attending a few club nights and again finding the enjoyment in the challenge of the sport I proceeded to join the Rongotea club in the Manawatu. After a successful year in D grade I moved into B grade and at the same time started my own business which pulled me away slightly from the intensive routine that shooting can be, but did all I could to get down the range when I could and aimed to get into Master grade the following year. I missed Master grade by a few tenths on my average but overall was happy with the result considering the lack of range time I had that year.
With the Business now relocated and centralised to the Waikato I am able to again focus on getting more time in at the ranges and also devote some time to giving back to the sport which, even in the few short years that I’ve been associated with TSNZ, I’ve enjoyed immensely, and have been never less than impressed with the various shoots and championships that I’ve attended around the country.
Coming off the back of a weekend Coaches Course with Tricia van Nus in Cambridge I had a further chance to sit down and talk with people from various clubs and found everyone that I talked to had a bunch of amazing ideas about how Shooting in NZ could be improved but just not quite sure how to go about it. I’d been approached by a few people about the idea of applying for the TSNZ Exec due to my background in various fields over the past few months, and eventually came to the decision that, while I could affect change from a club level by simply getting out there and helping people turn their ideas into reality, a better response was to approach it from the top and find ways to enable the massive resource that TSNZ has in its membership to get the ideas flowing to not only benefit the local clubs but the sport as a whole.
This was his introduction at the Awards Ceremony:
Over 30 years of outstanding service has been given by this individual; across multiple disciplines and with success that few could match. He is tirelessly enthusiastic and has coached and mentored many within our very fortunate community.
His love of sport started as an active child on the West Coast. In summer it was always cricket on Saturday and tennis on Sunday and during winter, rugby on Saturday and soccer on Sunday. During his teenage years, athletics was his real passion and in particular, middle distance running. Unfortunately, a sporting accident on the rugby field as a teenager all but wrecked one of his shoulders, resulting in early retirement from playing contact sports and so he turned to other things. His personal disappointment was to be many other’s gain.
At this same point, a pivotal moment happened; a friend introduced him to target shooting. What was to become a long, distinguished and continuing association with both the disciplines of fullbore and smallbore target shooting had begun.
A career move to Ashburton saw him become Co-Coach of the Tinwald Senior Reserve Rugby Team. This was to be the first of many rugby and soccer teams that he was involved with through the Tinwald Club, and the beginning of tireless and enthusiastic services for sport in Ashburton that continues to this very day.
His love of this sport and his vision for helping to provide a great future for it in Ashburton led to him being a Foundation Member of the Ashburton Junior Football Association and also on the committee who planned and organised soccer at Argyle Park. At this time he noticed that local soccer was suffering from a lack of qualified referees and so be became a Soccer NZ Official Referee, and he also set up the Ashburton Referees Association and sat on the National Panel of Soccer Referees. A long career of soccer refereeing, that spanned all grades from Chatham Cup down to juniors followed and it was with reluctance that he had to accept being compulsorily retired at the age of 45, as were the rules of Soccer NZ at the time!
At the same time he also became a member of the local Ashburton Fullbore Target Shooting Club. This was a sport that Bryan Hunter excelled at and went on to achieve national honours for. In 1983, he became Coach of the Ashburton College Fullbore Target Shooting Team, a position he held for 18 years. In his time as Coach of this team they won the Canterbury Secondary Schools Title every year.
The highlight of the many achievements these teams had was in 1984 when the Ashburton College Fullbore Rifle Team won the Commonwealth Secondary Schools’ Fullbore Championship, pitted against 114 international High Schools from over 60 different countries. For this they also won the Junior Mid -Canterbury Sports Team of the Year Award, and a great personal note was that Bryan’s talented son Graham was part of that team.
It was also 1984 when Bryan started casually attending shooting nights at the Coronation Smallbore Rifle range on West Street that one of the most valued sporting relationships of his life began. He began informally coaching students, the Club were quick to recognise his talent and he became Head Coach; a position he still holds.
1984 was the same year that saw the Ashburton College Inter-House Shooting Competition commence, thanks to first its development and then its management by Bryan. This meant that 400 high school aged students every year were introduced to the sport of smallbore target shooting and this continued every year, with him as Manager, until 2002 (2 years after his retirement).
It is hard to imagine where he found the time, but it was also during 1984 that he took on the Management and Coaching of the Ashburton College Smallbore Rifle Team, with support from the Coronation Smallbore Rifle Club and the College Board of Trustees. The team became a dominant force in NZ Secondary Schools shooting and won the Whitcoull’s Trophy for NZ Secondary Schools’ Smallbore Target Shooting Champions for 7 out of 8 years. In 1997 the Ashburton College Team also won the Mixed Teams Competition for the Postal Secondary Schools match and then President of TSNZ, Bruce Marchant, attending a full school assembly to present certificates to the team.
In 1992 undaunted by the time-consuming process and believing that it would be great for the kids, he went through the process of becoming NZQA accredited for conducting and assessing Senior PE Shooting and helped Ashburton College become accredited to operate smallbore target shooting as part of their Year 12 PE course. This means 3 to 4 senior classes each year, approximately 100 students, are able to achieve national credits in PE through smallbore target shooting. Ashburton College was the first school to achieve this and remains one of very few that continues.
In the late 1990s, he made Coronation, the home of the local National District Championship Team – The Plainsmen. He has been the Coordinator for this team for all but 3 years (where family matters intervened) and has seen The Plainsmen be one of very few teams who have managed to hold their position in Division One. He was the Coordinator, Coach and Member of the team in 2013 when they won the Casey Cup for being National District Champions, Division One.
In 2000 the Ashburton Association were the Hosts to the Annual Inter Island Match and once again Bryan was involved with the organisation of this shoot, in particular in securing Ashburton College’s gymnasium and classrooms to conduct the shoot, being in charge of recording and assisting the Liasion Officer.
It is hard to summarise a lifetime of service to sport that is so varied and so extensive. Bryan has been a member of over 20 different clubs during his years; at different times he has served as the Coronation Smallbore Rifle Club’s President, Secretary, Treasurer, Club Captain and Head Coach, as well as being a committee member since 1984 and now a Life Member; for the Ashburton County Smallbore Rifle Association he has been an Executive Member for over 20 years, as well as Secretary, Treasurer and Coaching Coordinator; he has been part of the Ashburton County Smallbore Association Representative team for 25 of the last 30 years; he has shot for New Zealand in Fullbore Shooting, including a personal highlight of shooting shoulder to shoulder with the English Captain and scoring 149 from 150; he is a member of the South Island Veterans Smallbore rifle team; he is a Foundation Member of the Ashburton Junior Football Association; Founded the Ashburton Football Association Referee’s Association and was on the NZ Football Panel of Referees; he refereed both rugby and soccer, umpired cricket and has officiated as Range Officer for smallbore and fullbore shooting; he has coached cricket, junior and senior rugby, junior and senior football, junior and senior smallbore and fullbore shooting; he has Coached 14 Shooters to New Zealand honours, including national captains, and more than 30 to District and South Island honours. He currently coaches over 20 Senior Shooters and leads the Coaching Team at Coronation who attend to dozens of Juniors and Novices each season.
Bryan is a Coach that goes above and beyond duty, he voluntarily spends hours each year, expertly servicing, cleaning, assembling and bedding rifles. In a technical sport where minute distances and alterations are the difference between winning and losing, Bryan is relentless in his drive for perfect preparation. He is the epitome of selflessness and enthusiasm. He leads by example, endlessly seeks to develop and help the new generations and is incredibly modest and self-effacing about his achievements as an individual and as a coach; it has always been all about helping others to achieve their dreams. Bryan is held in very high regard by many and with great affection by many more.