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Range Officers: Shortage at branch level and at shooting competitions?

Most SAHGCA branches have enough trained and qualified Range Officers, but in spite of that, at one stage or another, branches develop a shortage of Range Officers willing to do shooting range duty. The following important principles should be taken into account to address this problem when it does occur in a branch.

  1. All work at branch level are done by volunteers, including branch management and the universal principle is that no one is paid for their efforts;
  2. Question: Who gain the most by the efforts of the Range Officers? Answer: the regular shooters gain the most from the work done by the Range Officers;
  3. It is universal practice at other shooting sports that the Range Officers are experienced shooters as well and that they regularly officiate as Range Officers. By their contributions they ensure that their shooting sport never have a shortage of trained and experienced Range Officers;
  4. From the above it is clear that the regular shooters have to take responsibility to officiate as Range Officers and that they cannot expect from other people to do the work for them!
  • From certain sources there is the request that Range Officers should be paid for their work:

    1. If Range Officers are paid for their work, the shooters will have to foot the bill and the regular shooters will have to foot most of this bill over a period of time!;
    2. If Range Officers are paid for their work, then everyone contributing at branch level will have to be paid for their work – where will the money to do this, come from!
  • The solution to this problem is the cultivation of a culture of shared responsibility for the workload at all levels within a branch. 

“Esprit de corps” (morale of a group) – “morale is the capacity of a group of people to pull together persistently and consistently in pursuit of a common purpose”.

Members should be sensitised in an ongoing process that their contributions is essential to spread the workload at branch level. When members get involved at branch level, the enthusiasm at branch level multiplies. Branches thrive on enthusiasm and the number of members involved in the process is in direct proportion to the enthusiasm at branch level.

The process to get members involved and to make a contribution should be a continuous process in every branch. If this process is neglected to get members involved and to contribute in a branch, very soon only branch management will be doing the work – the result: the branch management members will be overworked one by one and eventually they will withdraw. This result is a given, it may last for a year, two or three, but the end result will be inevitable. The branch will develop a shortage of branch management members because of this problem (known) where management members are overworked and it will be very difficult to get available persons to fill these vacancies.

The opposite is where a branch’s members work together enthusiastically – branch management members do not get overworked and when one of the management team need to be replaced, there is usually no shortage of enthusiastic and skilled people to choose from. This scenario is common to all successful branches!

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