Junior Development Squad (JDS)


Target Shooting NZ's Junior Development Squad aims to prepare young shooters for the demands of competitive shooting both nationally and internationally.

The Squad consists of up to 12 shooters aged between 13 and 21 years.

JDS members are coached in Air Rifle, 50m Prone and 3P.

Note that Juniors currently shooting only Indoor will need to be prepared to move into at least one of these other areas to be eligible for the JDS, as Indoor shooting is not the focus for JDS training. 

TSNZ has JDS equipment the members can lease, and as well as having ongoing access to their Coaches, the JDS Squad can attend up to four weekend training camps a year.  At times keen older shooters are also invited to join these training camps.

Applications are taken in November/December each year.  

If you want more details email  jds.tsnz@gmail.com





If you're 13-21 years old and want to take your Outdoor, 3P or Air Rifle shooting to the next level, you can click here to email the JDS Manager for information.





JDS Camp - June 2018 - Auckland

by JDS member, Liam

Last week was my second JDS camp, up in Auckland, held at the Parafed shooting range.

It was an awesome experience, especially being given the opportunity to shoot on electronic targets.  It was pretty amazing how just after you made the shot, a circle comes up onto a screen next to you showing exactly where the shot went with the score. No need to wildly anticipate where the shot went as the pulley drags the target back. Then after a few shots later it would start displaying your average. I couldn’t believe it! There were also many other cool things that happened at camp.

Warren Smith a Sports Psychologist came and talked to us about his experiences and gave us many useful tips and advice. What really helped me  was when we had a talk about how long I was holding and looking through the sights.  Which by the way was far too long!  I took the information on board and started to see some real improvements.  Warren also set up a shooting game for us on the second day.  At first, it seemed very confusing but by the end, I could definitely see the benefits.

Mike Johnson, a well-renowned gold medallist, came and talked to us about his inspirational story and what he did to get to where he is today.  He showed us his gold medal from Athens 2004 Paralympic games and told us the story behind it.

On the last day the whole JDS team participated in a 40-shot match with a Final.  This was quite a step up for me, but I really enjoyed it, although I was getting a little tired by the last few shots.  After that, we sat down and talked about our shot patterns and drew on the print out to see if we had any group patterns, so we could identify any similarities and work out a strategy from there.       

Overall, I had a blast at camp.  I took so much away from being there. It was such an awesome experience to be surrounded by people so willing to help and make a difference. I would just like to thank TSNZ, Jono, Helen, Owen, Dave, Mike, Warren, Nick & Julie from Shooting Stuff and Kelly for contributing and making these camps possible. I can’t wait for the next one!                    






JDS Camp November 2017 – Palmerston North

 by JDS member Meggy

Saturday 24th November - Day One:

We met bright and early at the outdoor range for a full-on fourth and final JDS camp of 2017. To start the camp off there was an “Oh no” followed by a laugh by Lachie and we all knew that there was going to be something learned from these two words. He found out that when coming to a JDS camp it's important to bring his rifle to shoot, as throwing bullets down the range is not a very accurate way of shooting.  Luckily as his home wasn’t too far from the range, the rifle appeared after a family effort.   

The conditions on Saturday were great, the flags were still all day and we all got excited if the flags actually moved. This made it easier for trying out the kneeling position, as we didn’t have to worry about what the wind was going to do to our shots, and we could focus more on our position. We worked on developing the kneeling position and from this, there was no doubt that we all discovered little tricks and ways our position could be made more comfortable. Little things such as how the seams on our tights could be pinching our leg which was the niggling feeling we had while shooting. 

Toward the end of the day, we had a twenty-shot match; a five-shot group for sighters and a fifteen-shot group. This was used to see how we would cope in a 3P match.

After a full-on day of shooting, we headed to Jon and Helen's house to have dinner, watch a movie and have a chat to wind down from a long day of shooting. 

Sunday 25th November – Day Two:

We started the day by again building our kneeling position, making sure that every time we got into position that everything was the same: the feeling, tensions, position on the kneeling roll etc.  We did this by doing series of five-shot groups and getting up between every series. This taught us the importance of getting into the same position each time, because if we didn’t then we would end up with a different orientation to the target and this will mean our groups would shift around the target. 

After lunch, we all split into groups for the rest of the afternoon and worked on standing, prone and kneeling. For some people it was their first time shooting standing, so they were starting to develop their position and getting used to the weight of the .22 as it is a lot heavier than an air rifle.  For prone, some were tweaking their positions and adjusting different aspects of their position, while others just couldn’t keep away from kneeling, as they had found a comfortable position and wanted to continue.

Thank you to RR&G for letting us use the facilities for the weekend, it is much appreciated.


On behalf of all JDS members for 2017, I would like to thank Kelly for all her time and effort that goes into organising the camps, and all her work behind the scenes, so that when we arrive at the camps it is an enjoyable time.

A massive thank you goes to Jon, Helen, Owen, and Dave for the coaching and support which you have all given us throughout the year at both the camps and during training. The knowledge which you have passed on this year has really enabled us to grow as shooters into our future shooting careers. Nothing is ever a problem, and I will like to thank you for this.  

Thank you to TSNZ for your ongoing support of the JDS, it is greatly appreciated. 



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JDS Camp September 2017 – Palmerston North

by JDS member Sarah 

Day 1 - 2nd September

We met at the range, ready to start our third camp of the year.  We got straight into it with most of us getting a crash course in 3P for the first time. We began with prone and sighting in our rifles to the target. For some of us it was remembering how many clicks to wind up and finding that we were way off target. Oops.  Battling the cold Manawatu weather, we continued onto the kneeling component of 3P. This foreign position looked uncomfortable and awkward to some of the younger members but they got straight into it. 

That afternoon we welcomed sports psychologist Gary Hermannson and he went through the process of why expectations put pressure on us to perform and that we can't let it ruin our results. Through the skill of visualisation we had to find our happy place and push all our negative thoughts out and just think positively. We really valued Gary coming and speaking to us and giving us any other perspective on how pressure can affect us in many ways. 

We then went and practiced shooting some more and updated our diaries with what we had learnt and the new adjustments we had made.

That night we headed for somewhere warm, and we were welcomed by Jon and Helen to their home. There we had our JDS special of chicken, coleslaw and hot chips which filled us up for another big day of shooting ahead of us tomorrow. We discussed YOG and Oceania and what we had to look forward to in the next couple of months. 

Day 2 - 3rd September

We had an explanation of the gear check procedure by Jackie from TSNZ, to find out if our gear would be able to pass in Australia. Thankfully only small adjustments such as buttons were moved and rubbing jackets because they were too stiff in areas. We really valued Jackie and Bruce for coming and explaining the ISSF rules and the requirements and expectations of ISSF matches.

Then everyone competed in a finals match for 3P kneeling, some members were just naturals, and shooting like they had done it before.  Owen and Jess practiced changing through positions.  We watched how it was done and the short amount of time that they get to change their rifles and position in a finals situation. Also how easy it is to forget to undo, move or tighten things while getting organised.  A slight slip of words by Lachie led to our “JDS Daddy”  (Jono) receiving a Father’s Day card and chocolates which he was very enthused about, as well as a loving hug from his “son.”

I just want to say a huge thank you to the other members of the squad, because we learn from each other and bounce ideas off one another. Thanks for making it another fun camp. 

To our “JDS mum,” Kelly thank you for all the organising and effort that goes into making sure the camps run smoothly and efficiently and making sure no one goes hungry, it’s really appreciated. 

To the coaches Jonno, Helen, Dave and Owen, thank you for providing us with the knowledge and skills for us to be able grow as shooters and develop the skills that we need to succeed with our future shooting career. 

A massive thank you to TSNZ for your support and helping us to grow. We would also like to thank RR&G for allowing us to use their range and facilities over the weekend

See you at the next camp! 




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2017 JDS Squad
Back - Dave Sheely (Coach), Matt Little, Wiko du Toit, Sarah Reesby, Lachie McNair, Jessica Riddle, Kelly Burdon (Manager), Helen Freiman (Coach)
Front:  Owen Bennett (Coach), Kate Campbell, Chalm Davey, Jessica Burgess-Smith, Summer O'Dwyer, Meggy Reesby, Jon Phillipps (Coach)



The first Junior Development Squad Camp of 2017 took place in Palmerston North on the weekend of 17th-19th March.   

 by JDS Member, Jess

This camp we welcomed five new and enthusiastic members to the squad, when we met with the coaches in Palmerston North for three days of training.

It was a full-on camp, with people shooting 50m, 3P and Air Rifle. We started off with 50m on the Friday, where the coaches helped us to build on our positions and work on our technique.

On Saturday, we split into two groups. Some worked on their 50m and 3P at the outdoor range and the others went to the air range. The new recruits were set up in their gear and taught the position, the others trained for finals. One of the practice finals ended with three sets of tiebreakers for the gold medal. Well done to the two girls for hanging in there and holding your composure with the over-enthusiastic audience. 

Sunday brought us all together at the air range, where we were kept busy with match training, position exercises and final practice. The coaches also ran several theory sessions throughout the weekend, covering wind reading, sight elements and goal setting.

On behalf of the JDS I would like to say thank you to our wonderful manager Kelly, for organising everything and keeping us on time and well fed. The JDS special of roast chicken, coleslaw and hot chips is always a treat after a long day. A huge thank you to the amazing coaches, Jonno and Helen, with the assistance of Owen. You pulled off being in multiple places at once and always kept us busy. Your guidance will go a long way. We would also like to thank RR&G and MSRA for allowing us to use your ranges and facilities  over the weekend. And thank you to TSNZ for your support and helping us grow as shooters.

An important part of these camps to me is also the other squad members, as I believe it is important to be surrounded by like mind people as we push each other to be the best we can and achieve our goals, so thanks to my fellow squad members for another fun camp.  I look forward to getting to know you better over the upcoming season.


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JDS Weekend, March 2017, Palmerston North
Back: Jon (Coach), Wiko, Matt, Sarah, Jess, Meaghan, Lachie, Kelly (Manager)
Front: Owen (Coach), Summer, Kate, Chalm, Jess, Helen (Coach)


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