SHOOTING was at one time so popular a sport that there was seven rifles clubs that operated out of the Goulburn range before the First World War.
It was one of the reasons why many of the original Anzacs who trained on the range were a “crack” shot when they reached the front.
To celebrate those diggers, and all the servicemen who passed through the range, the Goulburn SSAA held a 100th anniversary come and try shoot on Sunday.
More than 30 people also came to try their hand at hitting some targets.
Goulburn Shooting Club president Ken Kenchington said it was a special occasion.
“The history of the range goes way back before World War One,” he told the Post.
“The guys from the Boer War were trained up on that range. That range is over 120-years-old now!”
“People in Goulburn don’t seem to realise the significance of that range. All of the wars Australia has been involved in, up to the second world war, had troops train on it.”
SSAA member Jason Shepherd said along with the people who came to try on the day, a number of them signed on to become club members.
“It was a good turnout considering the weather we’ve had,” he said.
“A lot who came to try were young people as well which is always good to see.”
Those who attended would have gone through the same emotions as soldiers of long ago.
“I think a lot of people are curious,” Kenchington explained.
“It’s something out of the ordinary and we’re offering people an afternoon, come out , try it and see what you think.
“The thing about shooting is it doesn’t require physical strength.
“What it does require, is very good hand eye coordination, which is learnt.
“There is no such thing as a born shooter. Every shooter is taught, and the whole thing just depends on practise.
“We once had this woman who had never fired a rifle before.
“She fired at 50 metres and had very good grouping and she was absolutely chuffed. Since then she’s become a member and is a regular visitor up there and her family have now become involved and they regularly compete against each other.”
Among those who tried their hand on Sunday was Member for Goulburn Pru Goward.
“She did very well!” Kenchington said of her technique.