Rifle buffs take aim at the Olympics with new weapons range


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Jamaica Rifle Association (JRA) broke ground for the construction of a state of the art, air weapons range at its headquarters on Mountain View Avenue in Kingston last Thursday.

The new facility will accommodate both Air Rifle and Air Pistol shooting which are both Olympic disciplines. The JRA, which administers Full Bore, Small Bore and Pistol shooting, will be expanding its scope to include the additional areas.

The dual service range, which will be among the first of its kind in the Caribbean, will be suitable for shooters at all levels including juniors and disabled athletes. It will be equipped with top of the line equipment for air weapons target shooting.

When complete, the range will be the centrepiece of an aggressive promotional drive as the JRA seeks to attract a wide cross section of persons to the sport.

“With our new range we will be able to introduce air weapons shooting to our current membership but we will also be looking to open up the sport to a broader range of participants,” said JRA executive member, Major John Nelson.

“The range will be equipped to accommodate shooters with disabilities so we have already begun reaching out to the Paralympic Association and the disabled community. We will also be making a special push to pull in youngsters to build up a solid cadre of junior shooters,” he added.

To kick off the project, ground was broken for the new range by the minister with responsibility for Sport, Natalie Neita-Headley.

“We have been seeking to diversify the number of sporting disciplines we are involved with at the Olympic level; and I am pleased with what is happening here today and am congratulating the Jamaica Rifle Association on this bold step,” she said in her address at the ground breaking.

“It is also very encouraging to know that the new facility will accept Paralympians and we will therefore be able to compete in shooting as a Paralympic sport, which will take us to another level,” Neita-Headley added.

It is anticipated that the new air weapons range will be operational later this year. The target in sight is the 2020 Olympics where the JRA hopes to be able to field an air weapons team.

“Our main aim is to identify a core group of shooters whom we can train to compete on the international stage,” Major Nelson said. “And once we have our new world-class facility, we will be able to prepare individuals to excel at the highest level.”

Minister without portfolio in the Office of The Prime Minister (Sport), Natalie Neita-Headley (2nd lefft, breaks ground on Thursday for the Jamaica Rifle Association’s (JRA) new Air Weapons Range on Mountain View Avenue in Kingston. Sharing the occasion (from left) are president of the Jamaica Olympic Association, Mike Fennell; president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association, Dr Warren Blake; CEO of the Firearm Licensing Authority, Dr Kenroy Wedderburn and the JRA’s second vice-president, Errol Lee.


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