IT has been a rough six months for Emerald Pistol Club but you won’t find these shooters kicking stones.
They’re counting their fortunes at how lucky the club has been in the aftermath of the January floods with the backing of strong and unwavering support from the community.
Incoming club president Brad Cowley shuddered at the thought of the dire straits the club would be in if not for the help from businessmen like Ross Ryder.
“There is that many people who have helped us out, I just don’t know where we would be without them,” he said.
Even still, there is a lot to do to bring the club back to the pre-flood standard but members are making good headway.
It was this community assistance that allowed the club to host one of its major two-day meets earlier this year.
“We’re still not at capacity… we’re probably only running at 70% at the moment but it all takes time,” Cowley said.
A large part of the club’s focus is centred on attracting and retaining returning shooters to the big meets in Emerald, with prizes and gifts for the weekend’s best shots.
“I didn’t want them driving away thinking that wasn’t a bad shoot. I want them to leave thinking they can’t wait to come back,” Cowley said.
With club numbers nudging 60 members and rising, Cowley was upbeat and optimistic for the club’s future.
“Look, I think we have still got a long way to go and it’s a far cry from the 150 members we used to have about 11 years ago,” he said.
“But there’s good potential – there are still people out there who don’t know that we exist.”
A sign of prosperous times ahead was the Emerald club’s linking with local police.
Cowley said police had expressed an interest in utilising the range for training rather than travelling elsewhere.
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