International sport shooters compete for world championship in Free State

On 25 and 26 October, some of the world’s best sport shooters will participate in the International Gallery Rifle Federation (IGRF) World Championship at the Excalibur shooting range near Welkom in the Free State.

About 50 shottists from Ireland, England, Australia, Germany and South Africa will compete individually and in teams in eleven different shooting disciplines of the IGRF championship, which is one of the most important shooting events on the international calendar. It is the first time that this biennial event is held in South Africa.

The IGRF World Championship 2019 offers a unique opportunity for South African shottists to compete with the best in the world on our home ground. South Africa’s male and female shottists do extremely well in international competitions. At the previous IGRF event in Ireland in 2017, the South African team had won numerous prizes.

Sport shooting is a widely acknowledged sporting activity in South Africa and Protea colours have been awarded to the South African team that will represent the country at the championship. They are Hercules Louw, Flippie van Tonder, Herman Nieuwoudt, Jaco Booysen, Deon de Villiers, Bertus Bekker, Riaan Kunneke, Nico Roets Jnr, Gerrie de Beer, Heinrich Strauss and Annemarie van Tonder.

Fred Camphor, chief executive of SA Hunters, which is the host for next week’s IGRF event in South Africa, said the popularity of sport shooting is on the increase with specifically women and children signing up for sport shooting training at local clubs and associations.

At next week’s IGRF event in Welkom, South Africa will add its own unique touch to the competition by involving children and impaired adults from the local community. The official IGRF disciplines will be held in the morning. In the afternoon, children from orphanages in Welkom will be given the chance to try out their shooting skills with air rifles under the watchful eyes and with expert advice from the world’s best shottists.

Adults with physical impairments that previously worked at mines in the area, will also have the opportunity to test their shooting skills. Thank to modern techniques and equipment, impaired shottists can participate successfully in sport shooting activities.

During the past few months, the Excalibur shooting range near Welkom has been upgraded to meet the international requirements of the IGRF. SA Hunters accepted the responsibility for the improvements to the shooting range and its facilities. This shooting range is now a world class venue, thanks to the members of the Association’s Sandriver 58 Branch that serves the Welkom district, as well as local businesses and residents.


Photo: South Africa’s team that will compete in the IGRF sport shooting championship in Welkom, Free State on 25 and 26 October, are, front row from left to right: Gerrie de Beer, Jaco Booysen, Andre van Heerden (team manager), Riaan Kunneke, Nic Roets (coach) en Hercules Louw. Back row from left to right: Nico Roets (Jnr), Heinrich Strauss, Herman Nieuwoudt, Annemarie van Tonder, Flippie van Tonder, Deon de Villiers and Bertus Bekker